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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: April 9, 2018 02:51 PM
From: Senator Ryan P. Aument
To: All Senate members
Subject: Fair Judicial Districts Legislation
 
In the near future I will be introducing a joint resolution to amend the Constitution to change the way we elect appellate court judges.

Specifically, my legislation (if ratified by voters) would divide the Commonwealth into nine (9) Commonwealth Court districts, fifteen (15) Superior Court districts, and seven (7) Supreme Court districts.

These districts would be defined by the General Assembly following the redistricting principles found in our Constitution, requiring populations as equal as possible in each district with compact and contiguous geographic boundaries, and would comport with the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965. Candidates for appellate seats would be required to reside in the district they would represent on the court.

Eleven other states (Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin) select judges and justices for either some or all of their appellate courts via regional judicial district elections.

This legislation would preserve the right of the people to select their judges and justices, although it could also be adopted as a component to the merit selection of judges.

I invite you to join me in support of the Fair Judicial Districts Law.



Introduced as SB1144