Corbett selects Stevens to fill vacancy on Supreme Court
HARRISBURG — A state appeals court judge, Correale F. Stevens, was selected on Thursday as Gov. Tom Corbett's nominee to temporarily fill a vacancy on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
The governor announced his decision more than a month after the opening was created following the resignation from the bench of Joan Orie Melvin. Melvin was convicted of using public employees to help her political campaigns.
Stevens, a Republican, is currently president judge of state Superior Court, which handles criminal and civil appeals, and where he has served since 1998. He needs a two-thirds vote by the state Senate to take a seat on the high court bench after approval by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
If he is confirmed, he will return the court to a four-to-three Republican majority and would serve until January 2016. In November 2015, voters will pick a permanent replacement to serve a 10-year term on the court.
The Republican governor said in a statement that he will send the nomination to the Senate on Friday.
Stevens, 66, of Sugarloaf in Luzerne County thanked Corbett.
“It would become an exciting opportunity for me to continue my judicial career in that capacity, if confirmed by the Pennsylvania Senate,” Stevens said in a statement. He noted that he has served on the Superior Court with four of the six current Supreme Court justices.
The next step for Stevens will be to meet with committee members as he continues his duties on the Superior Court.
Stevens is a familiar face in Pennsylvania politics and government. His long career in public service also includes time as Luzerne County's district attorney, a county judge and seven years as a state representative.