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Corbett plans to pick Stevens for state high court

June 13, 2013 News Extra

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HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Corbett plans to nominate state appeals court Judge Correale F. Stevens to temporarily fill a vacancy on the state Supreme Court.

Two people familiar with the decision told The Associated Press of Corbett’s plans on condition of anonymity, saying the information was part of private conversations.

The decision comes 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 will require a two-thirds approval by the state Senate to take a seat on the bench.

A spokesman for Corbett declined to comment.

Stevens is a familiar face in state politics and government, and is the president judge of state Superior Court, which handles criminal and civil appeals. 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.

Melvin and Stevens are both Republicans, so if he is confirmed the court will return to a four-to-three Republican majority.

A sign that he is likely to be confirmed by the Senate is that his name was included in April on a list of acceptable nominees released publicly by Sen. Daylin Leach, the Democratic minority chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Melvin was convicted in February of misusing her staff, and employees of her then-state senator sister Jane Orie to wage election campaigns in 2003 and 2009. She has maintained her innocence and is pursuing appeals.

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