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Dear Governor Corbett,
I am writing you today as Democratic Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the vacancy on our Supreme Court created when Justice Joan Orie Melvin submitted her resignation effective May 1, 2013. As you know, a new justice appointed by you as governor would require two-thirds of the Senate, or 34 votes, to be confirmed. Given that the current composition of the Senate is 27 Republicans and 23 Democrats, it is clear that only a bipartisan process will result in the smooth and expeditious confirmation of a new justice that the Court requires. Given the political climate in the state, and in fact the nation, it would be easy for the process to quickly deteriorate into partisan bickering and stalemate. This result would ill-serve the people we all have sworn to represent. It is the sincere hope of the Senate Democratic Caucus that such an unseemly and destructive spectacle can be avoided. Towards this end, I am prepared to offer, in good faith, a reasonable way to fill the vacancy on the Court. I feel the solution contained herein respects your constitutional role as governor to make an appointment to the Court. Further, while I believe that in a perfect world the political party a prospective nominee belongs to would be irrelevant, this offer respects the fact that you won the gubernatorial election running as a Republican, and would likely prefer to see a fellow Republican nominated to the Court. This offer also respects the Senate's constitutional role as a co-equal branch of government, and the Senate's role as a check on unbridled gubernatorial discretion. Thus, against this backdrop, I tender the following offer to you: Provided herein are the names of five individuals who I am prepared to vote to confirm, and I believe the Senate Democrats would provide votes sufficient to join the Republican majority and guarantee confirmation of any of these possible nominees. You may choose which of the five names is preferable to you. We would note that each of these five individuals is, and has long been, a Republican. Further, each is a sitting judge who is qualified by training, experience and temperament to sit on the Supreme Court.
The individuals we suggest are: 1. Judge Cheryl Allen 2. Judge Correale Stevens 3. Judge Kathrynann Durham 4. Judge Thomas Branca 5. Judge Carmen Minora It is my hope that you will respond favorably and expeditiously to this offer to resolve this matter fairly, quickly and in the spirit of cooperation and mutual respect. I, in conjunction with my Democratic colleagues stand prepared to discuss this matter with you at any time and look forward to working with you to ensure that the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania is at full compliment, so as to best serve the people of Pennsylvania. Very Truly Yours, Daylin Leach Democratic Chair, Senate Judiciary Committee cc: Senator Pileggi Senator Costa Senator Greenleaf