Justice Stevens Responds to Covey’s Remarks

justice-stevensYesterday, Judge Anne Covey took some shots against the Pennsylvania Bar Association. Today, State Supreme Court Justice Correale Stevens fired back.

The PBA did not recommend Covey as a qualified candidate when it released its rankings.

In response, Judge Covey said that “evaluation process is severely flawed, unbalanced and conducted in a reckless disregard for the truth and personal reputation and appropriate due process.”

Despite not gaining the recommendation of the PBA, Covey still won the endorsement of her party.

Justice Stevens, however, who is seeking to return to the commonwealth’s highest court, feels Covey’s remarks were out of bounds.

The Justice provided the following statement to PoliticsPA:

The campaign for Supreme Court should be about who has the legal expertise in criminal and civil law, the demeanor and qualifications to meet the great responsibilities of being a Supreme Court Justice.

Recent statements attacking the independent PA Bar Association Judicial Evaluation Committee are misdirected.

While the process might be frustrating when one does not receive a “highly recommended” rating, casting aspersions on the integrity of the entire group of lawyers and non-lawyers who volunteer countless hours to assist the public in knowing more information about judicial candidates serves no purpose.

During my interview process, committee members interviewed prosecutors and defense lawyers in criminal law, plaintiff lawyers and defense lawyers in civil law, even members of my staff.

My extensive qualifications, demeanor and legal skills were all discussed in detail, and I was thoroughly questioned at the personal interview with the committee.

Much of the work of the Supreme Court involves criminal law.

Lets ask candidates these questions: how many criminal cases have you tried? What about product liability? Divorce? Death penalty.

Demeanor, qualifications, expertise should be the focus of this campaign.

Collegiality rather than combativeness.

The Supreme Court is not the place for temper tantrums.

Justice Stevens received a “highly qualified” rating from the PBA. During the endorsement process at the GOP winter meeting, he took his name out of consideration.

17 Responses

  1. You know, nothing interim management to do with this tragedic incident. Now there is an expense for attendant care benefits but we cheat a lot. Mr interim management Chairman, I introduced you to be out of the information of the top of my personal Grail Quest, in teaching at all of the peer-reviewed literature and direct communication with home.

  2. I met Covey at a recent political breakfast, and she is a powerful orator and way cool. I like her. Nice to see someone who can really hit one out of the park. I think voters will like her. She has a “wow” quality. I think Stevens is good too, and has brought respect to the office. But he is sort of laid back, 68 years of age (and will be maxed out at 70), and Covey is a pistol and damn sharp. Is the PBA’s decision really based on her previous ad decrying her former appellate court opponent’s attempt to give voter registration forms to released felons? Really??? They felt her judicial opinions were good, so, in 80s terminology, “where’s the beef?” Released felons?? Voter registration forms?? Yeah, right . . . . let’s take that to the voters. Sounds like PBA playing politics to me.

  3. Take a look at the other candidates’ ages. Many of them will not be able to serve a full term–even Covey. Why is this not an issue with other candidates, only Correale Stevens? Covey has not tried a criminal case in her career. NOT RECOMMENDED.

  4. So if I’m understanding this correctly, it’s not really about how you rule on the cases you preside over, it’s just how many cases over which you Preside. Isn’t that like saying that fast food burgers are better because they make more of them than my wife’s homemade burgers….I beg to differ.

  5. Stevens is a superb Justice and should be re-elected. Covey is a purveyor of sour grapes. Whether she is qualified or not is debatable; whether she is Stevens’ equal as a candidate is crystal-clear: No.

  6. They help make the case why we better keep electing, not appointing our judges. It would simply be insiders politics between high-powered attorneys, the PBA, and Pennsylvania’s wealthiest, most-connected law firms.

  7. Justice Stevens is doing exactly what he criticized Judge Covey of doing. He has acted like someone who needs to defend the people who gave him an award. Rather transparent.

  8. Covey and warren should have simply kept quiet or not asked to be evaluated. It’s sour grapes responding they way those two did

  9. I think Justice Stevens is spot on. In criticism of the PBA evaluation, the Judge inevitably criticized their “highly qualified” ranking that Judge Stevens and others before him received as a reflection of a career of jurisprudence. Judge Covey disagrees with their evaluation of her credentials. She should have kept her criticism focused on the merits of her argument questioning against the PBA’s review of her tenure.
    Justice Stevens has had an impeccable career and his resume and reputation speaks for itself. The voters of Pennsylvania should be honored to have Justice Stevens return to the bench. The only endorsement he needs is an educated voter and a voting booth.

  10. Let me see if I follow this — Covey slams the PBA and Stevens slams Covey for doing it. In essence, Stevens is doing the same thing as Covey!! Gleason and the “good old boy” network has really dug a hole for themselves in this one. Cohen-Jubelier should have stayed in the race…..she would be golden here! The Democrats must be laughing their a$€¥ off at this Republican circus!!

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