Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin, who has served since 2002, is facing a 10-year retention vote.

The Pennsylvania Bar Association's Project Vote Smart notes: "He has authored several opinions in poetic verse, which has drawn praise in some legal circles and criticism in others."

Whether voters will hold his poetry, or his judgment in using it, against him remains to be seen.

There are two judges facing retention on the Pennsylvania Superior Court and one vacancy to be filled. John T. Bender and Mary Jane Bowes have served since January 2002 and neither seems to have generated controversy.

The Democratic candidate for the vacancy, David N. Wecht, has been a Common Pleas judge in Allegheny County since 2003 and received his B.A. and J.D. degrees from Yale University.

His Republican opponent, Victor P. Stabile, received his B.A. from the State University of New York at Stonybrook and his J.D. from Dickinson School of Law.

Since 1992 he has been a partner in the Harrisburg law firm of Dilworth, Paxton LLP handling civil litigation.

Two women are vying for a vacancy on the Commonwealth Court, which handles appeals from governments and governmental agencies.

Republican Ann Covey has been a member of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board since 2002. She is the owner of the law firm of Covey& Associates in Lambertville, NJ, which handles primarily employment law cases. She received her B.A. from the University of Delaware and her J.D. from Widener University.

Democrat Kathryn Boockvar owns the Boockvar Law Office in Doylestown and has a background in civil litigation and election law. She received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. from American University.

The 15-member Superior Court handles appeals of civil and criminal cases from the local Courts of Common Pleas.

The seven-member Supreme Court receives appeals from the Superior Court and the nine-member Commonwealth Court.

More information about the courts and the candidates is available at www.pavotesmart.org