With recent, concerning decisions by the United States Supreme Court, now — even in an off-year election — is the time to vote on Nov. 7.
Next year, we will decide the highest office in the nation.
While off-year elections may not draw as much attention as a presidential or midterm election, they are still important. This November, we decide who determines our most fundamental rights. While most Americans have lost trust in the politically charged and appointed U.S. Supreme Court, voters in Pennsylvania can decide who’s on our highest court, and this year, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has a vacancy.
Justices on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court are elected similarly to the governorship — with a simple majority during a general election. We vote on judges not only based on their high recommendation from the Bar Association and other prestigious organizations, but also on their character and ability to preserve our civil rights.
And with the courts, there’s no greater example of the need to protect our rights than the Donald Trump presidency. In 2020, Trump and his barrage of lawyers attempted a coup not only at the Capitol but also in Pennsylvania. Trump claimed mass election fraud taking place right here in Philadelphia. Elected judges protected our voting rights and tossed out the cases based on their merit — or rather, lack thereof. Still, Trump’s legacy endures with his appointment of three right-wing Supreme Court justices — contributing to a radical conservative court undermining fundamental rights.
If we believe judges should not be riddled with donor controversy, desecrating anti-discrimination law, disempowering the Environmental Protection Agency, and blocking access to reproductive healthcare for millions, then we can’t afford a Republican elected to our Supreme Court.
Judges in Pennsylvania have a great task at hand: upholding the rights of those most marginalized and to represent the will of the people. The U.S. Supreme Court and Trump haven’t borne that responsibility in mind. And now, on Nov. 7, Republicans are betting Pennsylvanians won’t either.
In the Pennsylvania Supreme Court race, Democratically nominated Superior Court Judge Dan McCaffery is running against the Republican candidate, President Judge Carolyn Carluccio.
McCaffery is highly recommended by the Bar and has a long history as a Pennsylvania judge. He has been vocal on the campaign trail about his staunch support for abortion access and how elected officials should not be “looking for ways to disqualify votes," gaining the public’s trust that abortion or voting rights will not be on the chopping block.
While Carluccio is similarly recommended by the Bar and has an extensive judicial history, Carluccio has been heavily criticized for allegedly scrubbing her anti-abortion views from her website and the public sphere.
McCaffery is largely resourced by unions, a strong representation of his admiration for American workers’ rights.
Carluccio is largely funded by a single Pennsylvania Republican billionaire who has shelled out millions. Carluccio reports spending more than double that of McCaffery on persuading the election.
Carluccio is endorsed by pro-life organizations and a billionaire who shouldn't hold the power to dictate reproductive rights or the legitimacy of our votes. It should be the people, including yourself, who make these decisions.
Penn Democrats recommend that the Penn community vote for McCaffery and Democrats down the ballot this Nov. 7.
While this year may seem like an off-year, Trump and his far-right political donors are certainly not taking a year off, and you shouldn’t either.
PENN DEMOCRATS is a student-run political organization dedicated to promoting progressive political values on and off campus. For more information on voting, please visit penndems.org. They can be reached at email@example.com.