Governor Corbett Has 90 Days to Name New Justice

May 8, 2013

With Justice Joan Orie Melvin's resignation from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on May 1, Governor Tom Corbett has ninety days to fill the vacancy. Pennsylvania judges are chosen in partisan elections and stand for retention for subsequent terms, but vacancies are filled by gubernatorial appointment with senate confirmation by a two-thirds vote. Last month, Senate Democrats sent Governor Corbett—a Republican—the names of five Republicans whose appointment they would support. The seven-member supreme court is currently composed of three Democrats and three Republicans. On May 7, former justice Melvin was sentenced to three years of house arrest following her conviction on six counts of public corruption.