April 18, 2006
Chancellor's Forum to Examine "Election vs. Selection" April 28
Four distinguished panelists will debate "How Pennsylvania Chooses Its Judges: Election Vs. Selection" as Chancellor Alan M. Feldman hosts a Chancellor's Forum on Friday, April 28 in the Association's 11th Fl. Conference Center from 12-2 p.m.
Arguing in favor of merit selection will be state Sen. Anthony Williams, who represents the 8th Pennsylvania Senate District, and Lynn A. Marks, executive director of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts. Speaking in favor of the election of judges will be Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge George W. Overton and state Rep. Mark B. Cohen, who represents the 202nd House District for the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
Judge Overton, who earned his law degree from Widener University School of Law, was in private practice for 15 years before being elected to the bench in 2001. Rep. Cohen, who also has a law degree from Widener University, is the Democratic Caucus Chairman.
Senators Williams and Vincent Fumo are sponsors of Senate Bill 100, which would amend the state Constitution to adopt a new judicial selection system for Philadelphia. It is modeled on merit selection using a bi-partisan citizen-based nominating commission to evaluate individuals interested in becoming a Common Pleas or Municipal Court judge. Lynn A. Marks, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, has led Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts since 1990. She was a principal advisor to former Gov. Tom Ridge in his effort to achieve merit selection of judges and co-chaired the transition team's Judicial Issues Task Force of Gov. Edward G. Rendell.
A complimentary lunch is included with this free program, but R.S.V.P. is required.