2012 Elections: News, Analysis, Videos, and Breaking on the Presidential Election, Local Elections, and More

2012 Elections: News, Analysis, Videos, and Breaking on the Presidential Election, Local Elections, and More

Complete coverage of the 2012 election

Look Who Will Decide if Pa. Voter ID Stands

Meet the 5 men & 1 woman set to decide if Pa.'s Voter ID Law should remain in effect on Election Day

By Dan Stamm
|  Friday, Sep 14, 2012  |  Updated 11:28 AM EDT
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Look Who Will Decide if Pa. Voter ID Stands

Photos Courtesy of Pa. Courts Website

These are the six justices seated on Pennsylvania's Supreme Court as of September 2012. The seventh justice was suspended from the board at the time.

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The national spotlight was on the Keystone State Thursday as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard arguments on the state’s controversial Voter ID law.

Pennsylvania's Supreme Court must decide if the new state law that requires each voter to show valid photo identification poses an unnecessary threat to the right to vote.

The 6-month-old law was championed by Republicans over the objections of Democrats and is part of the heated election-year political rhetoric in the presidential swing state.

Let’s take a look at the six justices -- three Republicans and three Democrats -- who will decide if Pennsylvanians will have to show identification before they vote Nov. 6. Should the justices vote along party lines or wind up with a 3-3 tie another way, then nothing will change and the Voter ID Law will remain in effect.

(Information care of Pa. Courts website.)

Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille
Philly-based Republican, born 1944
Elected to Court in 1993, sworn in as Chief Justice in Jan. 2008
Served as a 1st Lieutenant with the Marines in Vietnam earning a Bronze Star Medal and two Purple Hearts for his service
Assistant and Deputy District Attorney in Philadelphia from 1971-1985
Philadelphia District Attorney from 1986-1991
Private practice from 1991-1993


Justice Max Baer
Pittsburgh-based Democrat, born 1947
Elected to Court in 2003
Has a Masters of Tax from Robert Morris College
Commonwealth Deputy Attorney from 1975-1980
Private practice from 1980-1989
Allegheny County Common Pleas judge from 1989-1993
Allegheny County Family Division administrative judge from 1993-2003


Justice J. Michael Eakin
Mechanicsburg-based Republican, born 1948
Elected to Court in 2001
Served in Pennsylvania Army National Guard and serves as an adjunct law professor at Widener University
Cumberland County Assistant District Attorney from 1975-1983
Private practice from 1980-1989
Cumberland County District Attorney from 1984-1995
Pa. Superior Court judge from 1995-2001


Justice Seamus P. McCaffery
Philly-based Democrat, born 1950
Elected to Court in 2007
Member of U.S Marine Corps from 1968-1985 and U.S. Air Force from 1985-2008 as well as a 20-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department. Despite those accolades many know him as the judge who presided over so-called “Eagles Court” held during Birds game at the Vet.
Philadelphia Municipal judge from 1993-2001
Administrative judge of Municipal Court from 2001-2003
Pa. Superior Court judge from 2003-2007


Justice Thomas G. Saylor
Harrisburg-based Republican, born 1946
Elected to Court in 1997
“Hands down, Saylor is regarded as the most scholarly of the justices,” says Patriot-News report.
General practice from 1972-1982
Somerset Count 1st Assistant District Attorney from 1973-1976
Director of Pa. Bureau of Consumer Protection from 1982-1983
Commonwealth 1st Deputy Attorney General from 1983-1987
Private practice from 1987-1993
Superior Court judge from 1993-1997


Justice Debra McCloskey Todd
Pittsburgh-based Democrat, born in 1957
Elected to Court in 2007
Only woman currently seated on the court, Todd began her career as a litigation attorney for U.S. Steel Co. from 1982-1987.
Private practice 1987-1999
Pa. Superior Court judge from 1999-2007


Justice Joan Orie Melvin
Pittsburgh-based Republican, born 1956
Elected to Court in 2009
Currently suspended as she faces criminal charges for allegedly using her judicial staff to run campaigns.

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