All the members of the judiciary in Pennsylvania, from local magistrates to the state supreme court, are selected in partisan elections. Although many experts believe this system leads to all sorts of abuses, we seem to be stuck with it.
In any case, candidates for judicial offices often try to project an aura of non-partisanship. They avoid party gatherings and overt partisan activities and often cross-file.
It is with dismay, therefore, that I read that district magistrate candidate Kissner attended a rally sponsored by the Carbon County Republican Party to honor Rep. Lou Barletta. Mr. Kissner won both the Republican and Democratic primaries, yet I have seen him at the Republican Party booth at the county fair, and he was hobnobbing with Sen. Toomey's staff last month. Now he appears at a rally for a man who I believe owes his position to attacking minorities and representing the interests of Wall Street.
I am an environmentalist, feminist, pro-labor union liberal Democrat.l I wonder whether or not someone like me could get a fair hearing before a magistrate who is obviously following Republican ideology. I don't think so.