Pennsylvania Supreme Court: ‘Rule of Law’ Candidate Wins

The philosophical make-up of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will swing to a 4-3 “rule of law” balance — i.e., more restrained and not activist — when Judge Joan Orie Melvin joins the court in January. Melvin, a Republican, defeated Jack Panella, a Democrat, by 53-47 percent in Tuesday’s voting.

Panella spent a record $2.35 million on the race, backed by a half-million each from Philadelphia trial lawyers and organized labor.

We’ve got a full post at the Manhattan Institute’s Point of Law blog, “Pennsylvania Supreme Court: The more restrained candidate wins.” And for more news coverage…

The Pennsylvania Secretary of State’s election page has results, but had not been reliably up this morning.

UPDATE: Commentary from Kristen Soltis, director of policy research at the Winston Group, “An Exciting Win in the PA Suburbs“:

Republican candidate Joan Orie Melvin’s campaign was running from behind with a deficit in voter registration and in campaign cash. So instead of infrastructure, she won on message and principles.

Her message? “Reform, transparency, and accountability.” She traveled the state talking about the importance of judicial restraint, having gained notoriety for strongly opposing a judicial pay increase a few years ago. (She stands by those principles each payday, returning her after-tax portion of the salary increase to the state treasury.)

She also won the Philadelphia suburbs, always a tough battle for western-state candidates.

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