Look Who Will Decide if Pa. Voter ID Stands - NBC 10 Philadelphia
2012 Elections: News, Analysis, Videos, and Breaking on the Presidential Election, Local Elections, and More

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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



    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.

    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.