When Justice Stevens was elevated to the state's highest court, Chief Justice Ron Castille lauded him:
"He brings a wealth of experience from the executive and legislative branches and from his recent service as president judge of Pennsylvania’s Superior Court. The transition to the Supreme Court will be difficult because it is a different court than the one he has been serving and the learning curve will be long and steep. But I know Judge Stevens will approach his new assignment with the same commitment and determination that he has brought to all of his professional challenges."Against his own party's wishes, Justice Stevens believes he deserves election to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. So do I. Below is his 10-point plan to improve our judicial system:
- Direct for appropriate oversight, accountability and periodic review of all Court-appointed boards, committees and speciality courts without interfering with their ability to perform their duties in an autonomous, independent manner.
- Direct the Appellate Rules Committee to obtain public input and draft a Rule permitting members of the media to use electronic devices, such as laptops, to email and text from the courtroom during trials and to open the courts to televising proceedings, all of which will promote openness.
- Direct that all appellate courts hold occasional argument sessions in schools, on college and law school campuses as well as in counties across the state and to allow television coverage of those sessions, which will give members of the public an opportunity to see their courts in action.
- Direct that the judiciary promote and work to improve equal access to justice.
- Direct that all members of the judiciary have ethics training.
- Direct that all appellate court judges regularly provide continuing legal education programs to lawyers and work closely with the Pennsylvania Bar Association and local bar associations.
- Direct that all appellate court memos, as well as opinions, be posted online for public access.
- Direct regular court education programs with participation by judges for child advocate organizations, victims rights groups, crime watch and other community groups.
- Direct the judiciary promote and maintain appropriate, professional contact with the Legislative and the Executive branches of government while maintaining its judicial independence.
- Direct and promote continued positive relationships between the Supreme Court and the county courts and magisterial district judges.
Stevens believes that all areas of the court system, whether it be conduct of judges, administrative matters, reporting of cases, using technology, courtroom demeanor, and the administration of justice in Pennsylvania must continually be open to review, discussion, input and change.