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October 08, 2020

Philadelphia Bar Association Condemns Resolution Calling for Impeachment of PA Supreme Court Justice Wecht

Chancellor Hon. A. Michael Snyder (ret.) issued the following statement condemning a resolution calling for impeachment of PA Supreme Court Justice Wecht:

“The Philadelphia Bar Association has long been committed to the principle of the independence of the judiciary. A resolution such as House Resolution 1044 which calls for the impeachment of Justice Wecht is a repugnant attempt to destroy the doctrine of judicial independence. We condemn this Resolution and the thought processes behind its introduction in the strongest of possible terms.

“As such, we are steadfast in our belief that the decisions of a Court must be afforded the full weight of the law. Further, we are committed to the principle that the lawful exercise of judicial independence, which is a necessary and desirable activity, as protected by the Constitution of this Commonwealth, and by the Constitution of the United States must be defended against all challenges to it.

“The opinions of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and of its individual Justices, represent a lawful and appropriate exercise of the powers accorded to the Judiciary. Whether one agrees with a particular decision of the Court, or of any of its Justices or not, those Justices have the right and the duty to decide matters independently. Their decisions may not be condemned as unlawful merely because others do not agree with those decisions.

“The Justices of the highest Court of this Commonwealth, as well as any other lawfully elected Judges of this Commonwealth, have a right to expect that they will be protected in their exercise of their Constitutionally mandated duties and powers. It would be a chilling invasion of this right of judicial independence if any lawfully elected Judge or Justice of this Commonwealth needed to fear the hanging sword of Damocles if they made a decision with which a legislator, or a legislative body did not agree.

“We continue to stand firm in our support of judicial independence.”

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