PA Senate President offers amendment with little/no warning to reduce Supreme Court from 7 to 5; Superior Court from 15 to 11

Media reports are just coming in regarding an effort by the Pennsylvania Senate President to cut the number of appellate judges in the state. According to this item from The Legal Intelligencer

Pennsylvania attorneys and political watchers expressed shock and disapproval over a state Senate committee’s recent passage of an amended resolution seeking to reduce the number of state Supreme Court justices and Superior Court judges.

The Senate State Government Committee passed the resolution, which also proposes to reduce the size of the legislature and eliminate the lieutenant governor position, to the full Senate on Tuesday.

According to the State Government Committee minority chair, Sen. Matt Smith, D-Allegheny, the proposal to amend the resolution to include the judiciary and lieutenant governor reductions was not introduced until early Tuesday morning, just hours before the vote and with no public hearing.

Further media reports indicate the plan came from the Senate President Joe Scarnati.

The item appears to be SB 324 and includes the following provisions in this amended version:

SB 324 now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee.