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Lawmakers want merit-based system for Pa. judges - abc27 WHTM

Lawmakers want merit-based system for Pa. judges

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

A pair of Pennsylvania lawmakers have introduced legislation to establish a merit-based system for appointing statewide judges.

State Reps. Bryan Cutler( R-York) and Brian Sims (D-Philadelphia) propose a constitutional amendment that would establish an appellate court nominating commission made up of 15 members.

Six members would be appointed by the governor, eight would be chosen by the General Assembly, and one would be picked by the state attorney general.

Registered lobbyists, elected or appointed officials, officers in any political party or organization, as well as staff and family members of the appointers would be prohibited from serving.

"I personally believe that the integrity of our justice system requires that we select judges based on more than voter turnout, name ID or fundraising ability," Cutler said in a statement."I believe we should be looking for the members of the bar with the highest qualifications, not just the best political skills."

Since the bill is a proposed state constitutional amendment, it must pass the legislature in two consecutive sessions and then go before the people in a referendum.

 

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