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January 15, 2021

Take Action to Protect Judicial Independence: Stop House Bill 38

The independence of Pennsylvania’s judiciary is at risk. Here’s what you need to know – and what you can do.

We need your help to fight pending legislation that would threaten that independence and disenfranchise Pennsylvania voters.

House Bill 38 would:

  • Amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to divide the state into districts drawn by legislators – 7 for the state Supreme Court, 15 for the state Superior Court and 9 for the Commonwealth Court.
  • This move would intrude on the independence of the judiciary: Judges should be able to decide cases thinking only about how to interpret the law, not about any pressure to respond to a group of constituents.
  • Voters, who currently have the opportunity to vote for candidates running for every seat on the three appellate courts, would have a say in just 3 of 31 appellate court seats.
  • The bill also reduces opportunities for diversity on our courts, which is vital to a well-functioning court system.

House Bill 38 was passed in the General Assembly in the last session. It must be passed a second time, in identical form, by the House and the Senate to be placed on the ballot for voters to decide. The General Assembly is likely to vote on House Bill 38 very shortly and the measure could go before voters as early as May.

That’s why we need you to take action. Doing so is simple – click the links above or below to send a letter to your state legislators. All you need to do is enter your contact information, and our system will identify your state representatives and send a pre-formatted letter in your name.

Thank you for helping to preserve judicial independence and to keep our appellate courts representative of all Pennsylvanians.

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