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Complete Judicial Candidate Ratings from the PA Bar Association

PA Judicial CenterWith Election Day just hours away, we thought it would be a good idea to provide information on each judicial candidate up for office tomorrow.

The Pennsylvania Bar Association issues ratings of “Highly Recommended”, “Recommended” and “Not Recommended” to all the candidates.

In the Supreme Court contest, Democratic nominees Christine Donohue, Kevin Dougherty and David Wecht are running against Republican nominees Anne Covey, Michael George and Judith Olson for three open seats. Independent Paul Panepinto is also running.

There is also a Commonwealth Court seat up for grabs. Democrats nominated Michael Wojcik and Republicans nominated Paul Lalley.

Finally, there is also a race for a Superior Court seat. Democratic nominee Alice Beck Dubow is up against Republican nominee Emil Giordano.

The ratings are presented below, to read the bar’s explanation for their ratings click the link in each section.

PA Supreme Court

Presented in alphabetical order


Judge Anne E. Covey (R) – Not Recommended

Judge Christine L. Donohue (D) – Highly Recommended

Judge Kevin M. Dougherty (D) – Recommended

Judge Michael A. George (R) – Recommended

Judge Judith F. Olson (R) – Highly Recommended

Judge Paul P. Panepinto (I) – Recommended

Judge David N. Wecht (D) – Highly Recommended

PA Commonwealth Court

Presented in alphabetical order


Judge Paul N. Lalley (R) – Recommended

Judge Michael H. Wojcik (D) – Recommended

PA Superior Court

Presented in alphabetical order


Judge Alice B. Dubow (D) – Recommended

Judge Emil A. Giordano (R) – Recommended

13 Responses

  1. Judge Mike George is who is best positioned to serve on supreme court. He has no political agenda just to serve people. Thats what we need!!

  2. The PBA itself is a political entity, so don’t kid yourself there is any impartial endorsement on judicial qualifications only.

    Christine Donohue is unfit for any court. Her opinions are just that; her biased opinions based on her desired result. She makes up facts or law based on her bias, not on actual facts or legal precedent.

  3. I was in the room when KEVIN DOUGHERTY said he wants to “be on the government body where all the policies and regulations are made.” Classic legislate from the bench mentality. Vote No

  4. Although these ratings from a special interest group are meaningless, I think they got Covey’s right. She has no business being on the Supreme Court and I would bet anything she comes in 6th place today, not far ahead of Panepinto. The Republican party should be ashamed of themselves for even considering her for endorsement.

  5. For those voters who simply believe a qualified Independent deserves a shot and whose worked with both sides and decided judicial reform did not need a party affiliation, this is your guy:

    No one on either side of the aisle seems to have a significant beef with him and he’s “Recommended”. The knock is that he’s running as an Independent. That’s about it.
    Tough but fair seems to be the going book on the man.

  6. Covey’s rating has nothing to do with her judicial abilities.

    “In connection with her 2011 campaign for Commonwealth Court, the candidate signed a pledge to not engage in false or misleading campaign advertising. The commission viewed one of her campaign advertisements, which aired in early November of 2011, and concluded she violated her pledge. Moreover, when questioned about the matter, in the Commission’s opinion, she was not forthright in her responses. Because of violations of her 2011 campaign advertising pledge, and her recent failure to answer the Commission’s questions about her advertisement in an honest and straightforward manner, the Commission cannot recommend her candidacy for the Supreme Court.”

    Here’s an article on the ad’s content:

    Here’s Boockvar admitting that the purpose of the bill was to register newly released inmates:

    The alleged “falsity” in the ad was the claim that tax dollars would be used to do so. At the time, the Department of Corrections had a policy to provide such forms to releasees. There was no statute at the time that imposed such a duty. It Codification in a statute would have imposed a duty on all administrations to provide a form, mandating the administration to do so. The act of printing and mailing those forms would have to be paid for with something. The voter registration form fairy doesn’t give them to released inmates out of nowhere.

    In fact, the PBA committee states “Her opinions as a member of the Commonwealth Court have been well written, clear and concise.”

  7. Anne Covey had to resort to getting Franco Harris to star in her commercials and make football analogies. Shameless

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