John Burkoff Speaks to WESA About Election Process for State Supreme Court Candiates

Pitt Law Professor John Burkoff spoke with 90.5 WESA in Pittsburgh Friday about the race for the three open seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Six of the 18 candidates gathered Sunday for a forum at Chatham University. Burkoff said it is often difficult for voters to evaluate candidates for the state supreme court, because a written record only exists for those who have served as judges. “It’s almost impossible for an ordinary citizen to figure out who exactly he or she is voting for," he said. "They don’t follow all of the decisions. They don’t understand or want to understand the legal doctrine behind why a case is decided a particular way.” Burkoff believes appellate judges, who are supposed to be nonpartisan, should be appointed rather than subject to partisan elections.

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