All Pennsylvanians deserve to be represented by independent and fair judges who focus on interpreting and upholding the law. But instead Republicans in the Pennsylvania Legislature are focused on covert efforts to change the state constitution and draw districts for electing appellate court judges.
Don’t be fooled by their “geographic diversity” rhetoric. This is judicial gerrymandering, pure and simple, and therefore subject to the same level of abuse we have seen with Pennsylvania congressional redistricting (Jan. 19, “Pa. Redistricting: Lawmakers Prepare for Political Combat”).
Creating “judicial districts” for appellate court judges only increases the influence of politics and money on an independent judiciary and corrodes the public’s confidence in the courts.
This constitutional amendment has been pushed through the Republican-controlled Pennsylvania Legislature — with no public hearings, testimony from lawyers, citizens, businesses, bar associations or experts — so that it can go before voters as early as this May’s primary.
We stand with many voices in support of fair and independent judges — including those from Fair Districts PA and Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts — and strongly oppose H.B. 38.
CHRISTINE JACOBS Executive Director Represent PA Philadelphia