Report: Corbett close to picking interim nominee for former Pa. SC justice's seat

By Jessica M. Karmasek | Jun 12, 2013

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Legal Newsline) -- Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett reportedly is close to selecting an interim nominee to take former state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin's seat on the bench.

Sources told The Legal Intelligencer of Corbett's plans to name a temporary replacement Wednesday.

Corbett has 90 days from May 1 to submit a nominee to fill the vacancy.

The nominee, after being confirmed by two-thirds of the state Senate, will serve until Jan. 5, 2016. A successor will be elected in November 2015.

"I will submit a nominee to the Senate as soon as practical within that time frame to bring our Supreme Court back to its full complement of seven justices," Corbett said in March, after Melvin submitted her resignation to the governor.

In February, Melvin and her sister, Janine Orie, were found guilty of corruption for using the justice's office staff to perform campaign work in 2003 and 2009.

Melvin and Orie also were found guilty of theft of services, conspiracy and misapplication of government funds. In addition, Orie was convicted of tampering with evidence and solicitation.

One count -- official oppression -- against Melvin could not be decided by the jury. Allegheny County Common Pleas Court Judge Lester Nauhaus declared the jurors hung on that count.

Melvin's other sister, former state Sen. Jane Orie, was convicted on similar public corruption charges last year and subsequently sentenced to 2 and 1/2 to 10 years in state prison.

Nauhaus sentenced Melvin to three years house arrest last month.

Until a successor is qualified, the court has said it will continue to operate with six justices.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

More News

The Record Network