Helping the citizens of Allegheny County make informed decisions when voting for judicial candidates.
ACBA Judicial Excellence Committee
A Political Action Committee
Judicial Vote 2023
The ACBA Judicial Excellence Committee (PAC) strives to help Allegheny County voters make informed decisions when casting their votes for candidates running for judge. Pennsylvania’s municipal primary election will be held on Tuesday, May 16, 2023. Allegheny County voters will be asked to vote, in a partisan election, for those candidates running for the open positions on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, Pennsylvania Superior Court and the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.
Pennsylvania’s municipal general election will then be held on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023. At that time, Allegheny County voters will be asked to vote for those judicial candidates who won in the primary election and are running for vacancies on the Pa. Supreme Court, Pa. Superior Court, Pa. Commonwealth Court and the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. Additionally, in the general election, voters will be asked whether or not those judges whose 10-year terms are expiring but are seeking another 10-year term should be retained. In 2023, there are such judges seeking retention in the Pa. Superior Court and the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.
For more on Judicial Elections in Pennsylvania, click here to visit the Unified Judicial System of Pa.’s website.
To view the 2023 Judicial Candidate ratings, click here.
2023 Retention Candidate ratings coming soon.
The JudicialVote2023 website and the information contained in this site is presented by the Judicial Excellence Committee (PAC) of the Allegheny County Bar Association.
TYPES OF JUDICIAL ELECTIONS IN PA
In Pennsylvania, there are two ways state and county judges are elected/re-elected: judicial elections, when candidates seek to be elected to a judicial position for the first time, and merit retention elections, when sitting judges seek to be re-elected a/k/a “retained.” Note that this applies to state and county-level judges – such as the Pa. Supreme Court, Pa. Commonwealth Court, Pa. Superior Court and local district courts, such as the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas – as part of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania. Federal Judges are appointed, and not elected as part of Pennsylvania’s election process. For more on judicial elections in Pa., visit the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania website here.
Judicial elections are for when judges are running for a seat on the bench for the first time, or when a judge is seeking a seat on the bench of a higher court. Candidates are generally elected for 10-year terms. These elections are held every-other year, with the primary election typically held on the third Tuesday of May and the general election being held in the fall. In 2023, the Primary Election will be held on Tuesday, May 16 and election day falls on Tuesday, Nov. 7.
The Allegheny County Bar Association Judiciary Committee – comprised of 31 ACBA members, elected by their fellow bar association members – interviews and rates candidates who are running for the Pa. Supreme Court, Pa. Superior Court, Pa. Commonwealth Court and the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. These ratings are only for candidates who live in Allegheny County, have their principal place of business in Allegheny County or are judges of a court of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and whose judicial offices are located in Allegheny County.
MERIT RETENTION ELECTIONS
Merit retention elections are for current, sitting judges who are seeking to be re-elected – or retained – at the end of their 10-year terms. These judges are seeking another 10-year term, and they are not running against anyone. Rather, voters are being asked – via a “yes” or “no” referendum – whether these judges should remain on the bench based on their performance, qualifications and merit. In Pennsylvania, retention elections are held every-other year during the general election, typically the first Tuesday in November. The 2023 retention election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 7.
The ACBA Judicial Excellence Committee provides evaluations for those judges seeking retention in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, as well as Allegheny County-based judges seeking retention in the Pa. Commonwealth Court, Pa. Superior Court and Pa. Supreme Court. More information about this election and the judges running for retention will be available in September 2023.
CONTACT: ACBA Judicial Excellence Committee
400 Koppers Building
436 Seventh Ave.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219