Republicans gain majority on Pa. SC

John O'Brien Nov. 3, 2009, 11:17pm

Orie Melvin

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Legal Newsline) - Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge Joan Orie Melvin's win on Election night Tuesday means Republicans will hold a 4-3 advantage on the state Supreme Court.

Orie Melvin led Democrat Jack Panella, also of the Superior Court, 53 percent to 47 percent with 86 percent of precincts reporting. She'll take the place of interim Justice Jane Cutler Greenspan and will soon begin her 10-year term.

Republicans had lost their majority on the Court in 2007.

Orie Melvin earned her law degree from Duquesne. In 1985, she was appointed Magistrate for the City of Pittsburgh Municipal Courts, and in 1990, she was appointed to a vacancy on the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.

She was elected to the Superior Court in 1997. Greenspan, a Democrat, had been appointed by Gov. Ed Rendell when the late Chief Justice Ralph Cappy retired in 2008.

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