HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania's Supreme Court got back up to full strength on Sunday with the unanimous confirmation in the state Senate of Correale Stevens as its newest justice.
The Senate voted 50-0 in favor of Stevens, a former state lawmaker who most recently has been president judge of Superior Court, a state appeals court.
He will assume the seat held most recently by Joan Orie Melvin, who resigned on May 1 as a result of her conviction on charges she used government employees to help her political campaigns.
Stevens, a Republican, returns the court to a 4-to-3 GOP majority. He will serve until January 2016, when a new justice, chosen by voters two months earlier, will assume the office on a permanent basis for a 10-year term.
Stevens, 66, lives in Sugarloaf.
He 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.
In 2011, he began a five-year term as president judge of the Superior Court after being chosen by his fellow judges.
During his Senate Judiciary Committee review, Steven said he would work hard to build consensus on the court.
“It is not in my nature to sit idly by so that someday I can say I was on the Supreme Court,” he told the committee. “No. Rather, if confirmed , I intend to be an active participant on the court. I know and respect the sitting six Supreme Court justices and will seek consensus without giving up principle.”
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