TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Judge behind voter ID ruling hails from long line of lawyers prominent in region

Bernard L. McGinley is a judge of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court
Related Stories
Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
 

Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard L. McGinley, the appellate court jurist who struck down Pennsylvania's Voter ID law on Friday, knows the power of the ballot box.

The 68-year-old Point Breeze Democrat, first elected an Allegheny County judge in 1981, won election to the statewide Commonwealth Court in 1987 by 4,874 votes, considered a razor-thin margin in a race where McGinley got 1,185,963 votes to opponent Robert Byer, who received 1,181,089. It was days before McGinley was declared the winner in the final count. But he wasn't worried, his older brother said.

“Back in the day, Barney was the most relaxed of all of us,” said Jack McGinley, a partner at Eckert Seamans in Pittsburgh.

Both brothers have children who have gone into the law. Several of their cousins — members of the Pittsburgh Steelers owners' Rooney family — are lawyers.

“We've got an army of lawyers,” Jack McGinley said.

Like Republican Gov. Tom Corbett of Shaler, who is weighing an appeal of the voter ID case, the McGinleys are longtime fixtures in the Western Pennsylvania legal community.

“We've known the governor for forever and a day,” Jack McGinley said.

A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, McGinley is known to friends as “Barney.” He began his career as a law clerk in Pittsburgh before becoming an Allegheny County assistant district attorney. He was in private practice from 1975 until 1981.

Debra Erdley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7996 or derdley@tribweb.com.

 

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Allegheny

  1. Lightning causes 2 fires as storm rattles Western Pa.
  2. Icy water, donations to fight ALS flow with social media’s help
  3. Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra makes ‘great strides’ financially, audit shows
  4. Pittsburgh eyes plan to resolve impasse over Hill District project on former Civic Arena site
  5. Six Pittsburgh pools to stay open until Labor Day
  6. College-bank deals inspire calls for openness from regulators
  7. Nonprofit intends to restore West End Village tavern
  8. Pittsburghers honoring Masloff’s memory at City-County Building
  9. Allegheny County warns of crime lab closure
  10. Roman Catholics, evangelical Christians closer now than ever
  11. Barred Mt. Oliver firefighter turns up in gear at blaze, spurs investigation
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.