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AREA LABOR LEADERS SLAM 'MERIT' SELECTION OF JUDGES

 HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- James A. Young, president of the Harrisburg Region Central Labor Council and political director of the Pennsylvania Social Services Union, today denounced a proposal before the state Senate which would eliminate citizens' right to vote for judges of the Commonwealth, Superior and Supreme courts.
 Young called "ludicrous on its face" the contention by some supporters of so-called "merit" selection of judges that an appointive system will "take the politics out of judicial selection."
 Young said that an appointive process which involves a bipartisan review board, a governor and the state Senate "will be pregnant with politics."
 He accused the proponents of appointive selection of seizing upon current problems at the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in order to further their cause.
 Young reminded members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, before whom he testified today, that the state Senate has historically appointed some "rascals and criminals" to high office and has not been free of scandal within its own ranks.
 Does that mean, Young asked, that the Senate should be appointed, rather than elected. "Senators for life?" he asked, tongue-in-cheek. "We don't think so!"
 Young expressed surprise that such a measure is promoted today in the United States by elected officeholders, in view of the strides toward democracy made in other parts of the world recently.
 /delval/
 -0- 2/17/93
 /CONTACT: Jim Young of the Central Labor Council, 717-234-4113, or 800-932-0368/


CO: Pennsylvania Social Services Union ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:

MJ-MK -- PH016 -- 7249 02/17/93 10:58 EST
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Date:Feb 17, 1993
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