Thursday, June 20, 2013
One Great Judge Endorses Another
But he's not.
He was defeated in a nasty election for the state Supreme Court by Judge Joan Orie Melvin, who cheated and used taxpayer resources. She's been tried, convicted and has resigned in disgrace. But instead of picking Panella to succeed her, Governor Tom Corbett has chosen the Superior Court's president Judge, Cory Stevens.
Instead of complaining, Judge Panella has sent a letter to The Express Times, unreservedly endorsing Stevens.
Stevens, unlike Panella, is a Republican. Hard core, too. But like Panella, he's a great judge. In his time on the Superior Court, he has made strides to make the bench more transparent, conducting sessions at different colleges throughout the state. Earlier this year, Judge Panella headed one such panel at Northampton Community College.
Like Panella, he is also accessible. Although unable to discuss pending cases, he's as comfortable in a diner, drinking coffee with patrons, as he is in the rarefied atmosphere of a courtroom.
So despite their ideological differences, these two jurists have become good friends, genuinely admiring and respecting each other.
At a time when our judiciary has come under intense criticism, judges like Stevens and Panella exemplify everything that is right about our judicial system. I am delighted to see one of these class acts on the Supreme Court.