The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) has endorsed two judicial candidates for the upcoming November 8 municipal election. There is one vacancy on the Pennsylvania Superior Court and one for the Commonwealth Court. Judge David Wecht is the APSCUF-endorsed candidate for the Pennsylvania Superior Court, and Kathryn Boockvar is the APSCUF-endorsed candidate for the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. David Wecht has been a judge on the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas since 2003. He received a rating of “highly recommended” from the Pennsylvania Bar Association. Kathryn Boockvar is an attorney from Bucks County who most recently worked for the Advancement Project. Boockvar received a rating of “recommended” from the Pennsylvania Bar Association. Both have been backed by a wide variety of organizations and unions.
The candidates were screened through personal interviews and/or judicial questionnaires by the APSCUF/CAP Committee. Their support of working families and education exuded from the meetings and documentation. APSCUF understands that your vote is a personal matter, but believes that these two candidates would be steadfast supporters of APSCUF issues. APSCUF asks for your vote of support for David Wecht and Kathryn Boockvar on November 8 at the polls.
Why is it important for APSCUF members to vote in judicial elections?
Some APSCUF members may question the importance of voting in judicial elections. Below are brief descriptions of the important functions of each court:
- The Commonwealth Court is unique in that it serves as both an appellate court and a trial court, depending on the type of case before it. The Commonwealth Court’s jurisdiction relates primarily to legal matters involving state and local government and regulatory agencies. Cases most often heard are employment and labor practices, including unemployment compensation, prevailing wage and the PA Labor Relations Board. It also oversees cases on elections, insurance, banking, taxation, utility regulation and environmental issues, like those that may arise from Marcellus Shale drilling. Commonwealth Court decides hundreds of cases affecting trade unions and their members.
- For most of all the civil cases in Pennsylvania, Superior Court is the court of last resort. Its rulings have wide and lasting impact on the lives of many in the Commonwealth. Among the types of appeals that they hear are appeals from the issuance of an injunction restraining picketing and appeals from Common Pleas Court decisions in wage payment and collection cases. In some counties where there are anti-union district attorneys and county judges, criminal laws are sometimes exploited to pressure labor union officials. The Superior Court would hear appeals from Common Pleas Court decisions on these types of criminal cases.
Why is it important for APSCUF to endorse judicial candidates?
It is easy to recognize the impact the court has on the criminal justice system in Pennsylvania; however, courts also impact economic future and social issues that can affect every Pennsylvanian. An endorsement by APSCUF/CAP is viewed as a way to communicate to the members of the judge’s general inclinations, without having to know specific details.
Important Election Day details and deadlines:
- October 11: Deadline to Register Register to Vote
- November 1: Deadline for Absentee Ballots Get an Absentee Ballot
- November 8: Election Day Find Your Polling Place