Governor has 90 days to fill Supreme Court seat left vacant by Orie Melvin

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The resignation of suspended state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin became effective Wednesday, leaving Gov. Tom Corbett 90 days to fill the vacancy on Pennsylvania's highest court.

Ms. Orie Melvin submitted a letter to the governor on March 25, announcing "with deep regret and a broken heart" May 1 as her resignation date.

She will be sentenced Tuesday on six criminal counts, including theft of services, conspiracy and misapplication of government funds.

The former justice and her sister, Janine Orie, were found guilty in February of using court employees, as well as the staff of another sister, former state Sen. Jane Orie, to run Ms. Orie Melvin's Supreme Court election campaigns in 2003 and 2009.

Once the governor has chosen a nominee, the Senate must confirm the person by a two-thirds vote. That person will then fill the vacancy until January 2016. The position for seventh justice on the court will be up for election in November 2015.

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