On Nov. 5, vote yes to keep our qualified local judges

Welcome to the Judicial Vote 2017 website, sponsored by the Judicial Excellence Committee of the Allegheny County Bar Association. We have the obligation to provide the citizens of Allegheny County with as much information as possible to help voters make informed choices when they select candidates for Allegheny County's judiciary and when they are asked to vote to retain judges who are currently on the bench.

Understanding how judicial elections work can be confusing. Please use this website as a tool to help you understand the judicial election/retention processes and to get the ACBA’s specific recommendations on current candidates.

Details on how judges are elected in Pennsylvania can be found on the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania website, here. Additionally, a May 2017 NPR radio piece – featuring comments from ACBA President Melaine Shannon Rothey – detailed the process.


The election for new judges will be held on November 7, 2017.

Candidate Ratings

The first type of election is for new judges. The Allegheny County Bar Association Judiciary Committee has interviewed and rated candidates who are running for the PA Supreme Court, the PA Commonwealth Court, and the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. These ratings are only for candidates who live in Allegheny County, have their principal place of business in Allegheny County, or are judges of a court of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and whose judicial offices are located in Allegheny County.

The election for new judges will be held on Tuesday, November 7, 2017. See below for our ratings.

Click here to view the ratings for the 2017 candidates.

Judicial Retention Ratings

The second type of election is a Merit Retention Election. This election is for current, sitting judges who are required to run to retain their judicial positions every ten years. These judges are not running against anyone. Rather, voters are being asked whether these judges should remain on the bench based on their performance, qualifications, and merit. These election are held every-other November.

To help voters make educated, informed decisions at the polls, the ACBA surveys all of its members – attorneys who practice in front of these judges – asking them whether they believe each judge should remain on the bench. Those informed opinions are then accumualated into an overall ACBA “recommended” or “not recommended” rating for each retention candidate.

Click here to view the ratings for the 2017 retention candidates.