What Voters Think of PA Judges and Courts

A recent statewide public opinion survey conducted by The Federalist Society¬† – in advance of November’s judicial elections – showed Pennsylvania voters overwhelmingly support our system of judicial selection yet have little to no knowledge of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

The study, released late last week, asked 500 Pennsylvania voters a series of questions on the PA Supreme Court and their opinions regarding judicial philosophy and the selection process. The results were quite often paradoxical.

When asked whether Justices should take personal viewpoints in their interpretations, 77% agreed their own opinions should be left at the door. Yet, when asked to assess their knowledge of “judicial activism” or “judicial restraint”, 71% were either “not too familiar” or “not at all familiar” with the terms.

When prompted on the question of how we should select our judges, 67% of respondents favored our current system of partisan elections. However, 86% of respondents could not name any of the current Justices or candidates for the Court.

Given the wide array of online resources available today, such as Judgepedia.org, there is little room for excuses when it comes to judicial elections.

For the full report by the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy, click here.