The candidates for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court outnumber the open seats by a 4-1 ratio.
State officials say never before have three seats on the court been up for grabs in the same election year. And the fact that a dozen candidates qualified for the May 19 primary ballot attests to the power that the seven-member court wields in shaping everything from criminal laws to legislative redistricting.
The candidates — six Democrats and six Republicans — are mostly state appellate or county judges.
For many candidates, the top priority is repairing the court’s image, which was stained by recent scandals that forced two justices to resign.
Another concern is a requirement that judges retire at 70, which could prevent four candidates from completing full 10-year terms if they’re elected.