Regional Vote for Judges a Great Idea


by Dave Ball

WCRP Chair

1/24/21

In its January 24 editorial, the Observer Reporter opines that electing Pennsylvania’s appellate court judges regionally, rather than statewide, is a bad idea.


The major faults that the Observer Reporter editorial staff finds with regional elections are: it would diminish the influence of Democrat heavy Philadelphia and Pittsburgh; it would serve to politicize the bench more than it is; and that it would give the legislature inordinate power over who sits on the appellate courts.


I agree with the O-R’s first observation, that regional elections would diminish the inordinate influence of Democrat heavy Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and believe that can only be good. The second issue, that of further politicizing the courts, is hard to contemplate as the PA Supreme Court is possibly the most politicized and activist Supreme Court in the nation and the Commonwealth Court has issued its share of fairly political opinions. The third issue, the legislature controlling the court through redistricting is pretty far fetched since redistricting only occurs every 10 years and the districts would be large.


The demand to change the way the appellate judiciary are elected would not be an issue if it were not for problems that the judges that sit on those courts have created.


It is the function of the appellate judiciary to interpret the laws that the legislature passes and to review decisions of the lower courts for errors of law. The PA Supreme Court has become increasingly activist, frequently legislating from the bench and handing down many partisan decisions. This was especially evident when they stepped into the legislative domain with no constitutional mandate to redraw voting district maps and when they changed voting law in the recent election, again with no constitutional mandate. When judges become essentially immune from redress through the ballot box because they are elected by huge majorities from overwhelmingly partisan areas, something must change.

Sixty percent, or 19 of the 31 appellate court judges live in Pittsburgh or Philadelphia. Philadelphia is 76 percent Democratic in registration. Allegheny County is 57 percent Democratic in registration. Between the two areas, that is one third of the Democratic votes in the state. Twenty two Percent of the state’s population lives in those two areas and they control 60 percent of the judges and many of those judges are decidedly partisan. That means that the other 65 counties in the state effectively influenced the selection of only 12 judges.


The concern that the smaller counties might have some influence is telling. This is the same naked lust for control as is expressed by those who want to abolish the Electoral College and effectively disenfranchise the smaller, rural states. The O-R bemoans the fact that Philadelphia and Pittsburgh would not be able to wipe out the smaller Counties with their massive vote. I believe the statement was, “there would be a lot of wasted votes.” Wasted how? That Philadelphia’s votes wouldn’t wipe out the expressions of the more rural counties in this state? That they couldn’t be used to “cancel” people in Republican areas who have different concerns than Philadelphia. I call that greedy, hypocritical and typically Democratic.

I can see why the Democrats would hate to see a near monopoly like this disappear but it doesn’t take much to see that it lacks even a modicum of equity for the other 78 percent of the residents in the state.


How would regional selection “further politicize” the courts? The Supreme Court is already as political as it can get. Might regional voting mean the courts could finally see some Republican influence, sure, that’s possible and I guess the folks in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh wouldn’t like that. Most would call it balance, however. Many might even see it as a return to sound legal practice.


Concern about gerrymandering court district boundaries as retribution for a decision is the least of anyone’s concerns. The districts would be very large and drawn only every ten years. Let the voters decide by a retention vote if the decisions are good or bad. The funny thing about drawing district lines is that fairness is almost completely in the eye of the person who sees advantage in the lines.


As far as “Non-partisan” commissions to choose judges, that’s the worst idea of all. There is no such thing as a non-partisan group. If one removes the political tags, they are only replaced by other tags or biases. In the public forum, as these commissions would be, in today’s world the group would quickly become a petri dish of social ideologies reflecting the pickers of the group and popular trends. This is true even if, especially if, the members of the commission are lawyers. Even if one were to believe the commission were somehow nonpartisan, the selection then goes to what? A nonpartisan governor? Not in this world.


All things considered, Regional Vote is the way to go. The only loss there is the dictatorial grip that Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have on Appellate Court Judgeships and that’s a good thing.

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Newly Elected Officers 2021-2022

Chairman, Dave Ball

Vice Chairman, Mark Hrutkay

2nd Vice Chairwoman, Jodie Sherman-Pasqualino

Treasurer, Angela Carrier

Secretary, April Betzner


Opinion Article in Observer Reporter

The Greatest Crime in History

Dave Ball

12-20-20


The greatest crime in history was committed during the past election.


Make no mistake, the election was fraudulent, easily to the level of criminality. It is time to stop using statements such as “unproven”, “for which there is no proof”, “baseless claims” and so on prefixed to discussions of what went on in the presidential election.


Reams of documentation of voting irregularities exist, literally thousands of sworn affidavits of witnessed voter fraud have been gathered, video tapes of people fraudulently processing ballots have been shown, demonstrations have shown that voting machines have been illegally tampered with to provide false results and statistical experts have testified to the impossibility of numerous results.

 

How does one explain 81 million votes when Biden won a record low 17% of the counties in the nation? When he lost Black and Hispanic support? To even win marginally, a candidate should normally win most Bellwether counties. Biden lost 18 of 19. He also lost “must win” Ohio, Florida and Iowa. The Democrats were slaughtered in the House, losing 27 of 27 “toss-up” seats. This was not a broadly popular win as the vote total would suggest. Are we really supposed to believe people really just marked “Biden” on their ballots and no one else? How did the Democrats run a burned-out, lifeless candidate who couldn’t draw 100 people to a campaign event and still manage 11 million more votes than their folk hero, Barack Obama, while losing everything else? Not honestly.


A recent report by Peter Navarro examined in detail the voting information emerging from the six swing states. The report, which is titled “The Immaculate Deception” details six specific types of irregularities that he examined for each state and then produces a matrix showing which were prevalent in each state.


The Navarro report compares the actual Biden margin of victory in the six Battleground states with the estimated number of illegal ballots. The margins are dwarfed by the potential fraud. It’s not even close.


In Pennsylvania the report cites evidence of Outright Voter Fraud and widespread Ballot Mishandling, Contestable Process Fouls, Equal Protection Clause Violations and Voting Machine Irregularities.


An example of voter fraud is documented by an affidavit and a photo suggesting a poll worker used an unsecured USB flash drive to dump an unusually large cache of votes into vote tabulation machines. The resulting tabulations did not correlate with the mail-in ballots scanned into the machines. There are numerous examples of persons in care homes having voted without their consent or knowledge. More than 100 self-identified Black Lives Matter affiliated members from other states admitted to having voted in Pennsylvania. An analysis matching mail in voter lists to public obituaries found over 8,000 confirmed dead persons had voted.


Ballot mishandling was another major source of fraud in Pennsylvania. It is critical that mail-in and absentee ballots be verified by signature matching. The Supreme Court, legislating from the bench, ruled that this could not be done. Acceptance of “naked ballots”, a ballot lacking the outer envelope, was a big issue. Without the outer envelope containing the verification signature, there is no way to verify that the ballot is legitimate. The Secretary of State, usurping the legislature, advised that such ballots could be counted. This was particularly blatant because the PA Supreme Court rejected this guidance and the Secretary of State refused to issue new guidance to not count these illegal ballots.


Drop boxes are another huge problem. These ballot collection boxes were largely unsupervised and placed disproportionately in urban areas favoring Democratic votes. Being unsupervised lends itself to mass ballot harvesting and broken chain of custody of ballots which is an incurable defect in voting. In another staggering example, 25,000 ballots were requested from nursing homes at the same time. A truck driver has testified to moving large quantities of fake manufactured ballots from New York to Pennsylvania.

Process Fouls resulted in another source of fraudulent ballots. In several heavily Democratic areas of Pennsylvania, Republican poll watchers were kept at unreasonable distances from where ballots were being counted, in some cases entirely prohibited from observing the counting process. Why would that be if the process was fair and honest? Mail in ballots were accepted up to three days after Election Day. This by itself is a clear violation of the law but in Delaware County some 10,000 ballots ordered by the court to be segregated in anticipation of a court challenge were not segregated and were counted anyway. Persons whose names did not appear on registration books were observed allegedly being told, “use this name” and go vote.


This is just Pennsylvania.


Navarro concludes that the evidence presented as well as the pattern of irregularities are such that “it is irresponsible for anyone – especially the mainstream media – to claim that there is no evidence of fraud or irregularities.” He further states that the ballots that have come into question, “are more than sufficient to swing the election outcome in favor of President Trump should even a small portion of these ballots be ruled illegal.”


Crimes have clearly been committed. The problem at hand seems to be that the total crime is so immense that the law and the courts don’t know how to deal with it. They had better find a way because our Republic depends on it.

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Sat, Dec 19, 2020​

WCRP Officers Election in January

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