To the Editor: State Supreme Court Justices . . . Just so you know

Dear Editor:

If you are like most voters, understanding which state Court Justice candidates (District and Supreme Court) to vote for is an exercise in an unknown and innocuous election choice. These Justices are elected for 10-year terms. Supreme Court Justices earn $225,000/year; District Justices are paid $190,000. A few recently elected District justices had no prior courtroom experience. People elected them because they might have “liked” their last name, or some insider politics got them on the ballot. A few candidates appeared before “other” judges in their life pleading felony crimes they were accused of. Apparently, one does not have to have an attorney’s background experience to run for this office.

The Legislature is proposing a 5.6% pay raise for Justices in 2022. State law currently permits pay raises based on the state inflation rate (5.6% this Pandemic year). That’s a $10,600 annual raise. Most companies are not handing out raises in 2022 due to miserable earnings in this past pandemic year. Some are awarding a mere 2% increase. If questioned, legislators will shrug and opine, “It’s the law.” How about changing the law!

What is most troubling is the fact that if Justices and Judges are elected to two terms, they are automatically locked into a state pension based upon their salary. How would you like to earn $190,000/year in retirement and invest that in an IRA earning an average 6% per year? That can equate to about 4 million dollars over 20 years of retirement…crazy Rockefeller money! And let’s not forget Paid-Healthcare for life.

Why not base their salaries on what the average earned income of Pennsylvanians make per year, especially if they do not have to have professional backgrounds to be considered for these positions? They seem to have forgotten that they work for us, NOT us for them. Just thought you would like to know if you even care. What’s your retirement portfolio look like?

Ken Maleski,

Emlenton, PA

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