Pennsylvania Senate committee recommends Supreme Court justice to replace Orie Melvin

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HARRISBURG -- The state's top Superior Court judge was unanimously recommended by the Senate judiciary committee this morning to fill a vacant seat on the state Supreme Court.

President Judge Correale F. Stevens was nominated earlier this month by Gov. Tom Corbett to replace convicted former Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin after her conviction on public corruption charges.

A former Republican state representative, Mr. Stevens has served since 1998 on the Superior Court, which hears appeals in criminal, civil and family cases. He has served as president judge since 2011.

If confirmed by the Senate, he would serve until January 2016, with an election to permanently fill the seat in November 2015.

"If you vote to confirm me, please do not judge me during this term of appointment by any one particular decision," he told the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning during a hearing.

"You will agree with some and you will not agree with some. That is the nature of our democracy and in every court case, someone wins, someone loses. What is important is that people have their day in court and are treated fairy and impartially. If after the end of the 2 1/2 years of this appointment, you look back and say, 'He was diligent, fair, and impartial,' then I will have earned your confirmation vote and the people of Pennsylvania will have been properly served."

His confirmation must still be approved by the Rules Committee, then the full Senate, which could occur as early as this weekend.

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Kate Giammarise: kgiammarise@post-gazette.com or 1-717-787-4254 or on Twitter @KateGiammarise.


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