Even for the most diligent political observer and educated voter, judicial races in Pennsylvania can be difficult to decipher. Unlike candidates for other public offices, the judicial candidates get certified to run on both parties’ tickets, do not often engage in the same level of campaigning seen for more purely political offices, and may not be commonly known to the public.
In an effort to educate voters and shed some light on the qualifications of candidates, many local bar associations have some form of a judicial committee designed to vet candidates and offer recommendations or assessments about the candidates’ qualifications to be judge [full disclosure: I serve on the Montgomery Bar Association Judicial Committee]. This information is typically located on the bar association’s website.
Attempts to vet candidates also applies to the state-wide races for Pennsylvania’s appellate courts (Commonwealth Court, Superior Court, and Supreme Court). The Pennsylvania Bar Association has a judicial committee which evaluated the appellate court candidates. I recently spoke with law.com reporter Aleeza Furman about Pennsylvania’s appellate races and got some insight into the candidates for these higher courts.
In an effort to shed some light on the trial court races, Law.com recently released their guide to all the Commonwealth’s judicial races, including for the Courts of Common Pleas. Law.com circulated questionnaires to the candidates and has aggregated their responses: Judicial Elections Voter Guide: Pennsylvania Candidates Discuss Qualifications, Approach Ahead of 2023 Primary | The Legal Intelligencer (law.com)
If you’re curious about the candidates and who may be elected to their roles, please listen to Aleeza’s interview and check out law.com’s guide which is available without a subscription.