With the retirement of Justice McCaffery, a number of possible successors have been floated.
According to Capitolwire’s Kevin Zwick, Gov. Corbett is looking at two potential options, David Heckler and Jim Schultz. Heckler is currently the Bucks County District Attorney while Schultz is the Governor’s top lawyer.
Actually both men are being considered for appointments, as Chief Justice Ron Castille is required to retire at the end of the year after turning 70. Therefore, they’ll soon be two vacancies.
Senate Republicans, however, are unlikely to gain support from the Senate Democratic Leadership for this plan. A two-thirds majority is needed to confirm any nominations and Democrats are waiting because they believe Governor Corbett’s days are numbered after the Nov. 4th election.
Right now, it’s unclear whether the Governor will formally nominate anyone and if a lame-duck legislature would be willing to fill any vacancies.
The circumstances surrounding McCaffery’s and Castille’s exits, as well as the expiration of Justice Correale Stevens’ term, means that there will likely be three open Supreme Court seats up for grabs in the 2015 elections. The result of that contest will shape the Court for years to come.