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Thanks For Joining Pa. Voter Court Watch


“An independent judiciary is necessary to ensure the rule of law is respected.” – The American Bar Association

Dear Colleague,

In American society, judges are expected to make impartial decisions based solely on facts and the law and not political climate. However, recent comments by sitting Supreme Court justices and the leaked draft decision indicating that Roe v. Wade may be overturned cause many people to believe that the Roberts Court is under siege, both internally and externally.

In this timely Rendell Center/Annenberg Public Policy Center Webinar Series, we will scrutinize “Is Judicial Independence Under Siege: Understanding the Roberts Court in the 2021-2022 Term. Led by Dr. Bruce Allen Murphy, a judicial biographer and noted scholar of American constitutional law, this two-part program will examine the major cases and rulings toward the end of the 2021-22 Supreme Court term – the arguments, the rulings, and the factors that may have affected these decisions..

SESSION I – June 29th at 12:30 p.m. ET – Examines the cases, considers the positions argued by each side, and discusses the resulting rulings, or the direction in which the Court might be leaning.

SESSION II – August 10th at 12:30 p.m. ET – Considers the decision of the Court in each case and the precedent it may set. In addition, we’ll discuss some of the cases the Court has accepted for review next term and examine how the addition of Associate Justice Ketanji BrownJackson could influence the court’s approach in those cases.

Participating teachers can expect to develop both content knowledge and skills as we examine the need for and current state of judicial independence in the United States. Webinar participants will:

  • Engage in in-depth study of constitutional and Supreme Court case law.
  • Explore how the shifting voting alliances and decision-making approaches of the current Court are affecting the behavior of the justices and the case voting decisions. 
  • Gain a better understanding of judicial independence, the relationship between the Supreme Court and the other political branches of government, the overall shifting legal and political trends in the United States as compared to previous historical eras, and the direction in which the Supreme Court may be headed in future decisions and actions.



Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization – Are all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions unconstitutional? A draft of the Court’s decision on this case was leaked to an online news organization.

Carson v. Makin – Does state law, which prohibits students from using a generally available student-aid program at private schools offering religious teaching, violate the First Amendment’s Religion and Equal Protection Clauses?

Kennedy v. Bremerton School District – Can a public school violate the First Amendment rights of a football coach – Joseph A. Kennedy – who prayed with students after a game on a public football field. Coach Kennedy was not re-hired by the school after the prayer controversy.

New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen – Does a New York State law denying a concealed-carry license of a firearm for self-defense violate one’s Second Amendment rights? Do individuals have the right to carry concealed firearms outside of the home for self-defense?

West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) – Does the EPA have the statutory authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions as it considers cost, energy requirements, etc., or are those powers limited by the Clean Air Act?

We look forward to having you join us on June 29th and August 10th as we explore judicial independence in the United States. For additional information visit our website at or email

Best regards,

Beth Specker

Executive Director

The Rendell Center for

Civics & Civic Engagement

MAP VETO: Gov. Tom Wolf has vetoed a congressional map sent to him by Republican lawmakers, leaving the monumental job of picking Pennsylvania’s next district lines to the state courts. In his veto message, Wolf said the map failed “the test of fundamental fairness.” Commonwealth Court will pick the new map from one of these submissions. The ruling could then be appealed to the state’s Supreme Court.

#PaVoterCourtWatchCOVID-19 has killed over 90,000 Americans and over 1.5 million are sick, but Donald Trump and Senate Republicans are hell-bent on confirming judges to lifetime appointments where they could deal a deadly blow to the health care of millions. Cory Wilson is a long-time Republican activist who served in the Mississippi state legislature. He has called the Affordable Care Act “illegitimate” & “perverse,” and has openly called on the Supreme Court to overrule it. He also has been hostile to Roe v. Wade, and has a history of advocating harsh voter suppression measures in Mississippi. Justin Walker is a former intern to #MoscowMitch, who has been on the federal courts for less than a year and has zero trial experience. But he made over 100 appearances on Fox News, and blasted the Supreme Court decision upholding Obamacare as “indefensible.” Now, Trump wants to put him on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals—the 2nd highest court in the land. At a time when the U.S. Senate needs to provide real relief during the COVID-19 pandemic, they cannot confirm more judges who will threaten our health care & other progressive values. We need you to contact your senator, and urge a NO vote on both Wilson & Walker.

Thanks for joining us at Pa. Voter Court Watch! We are in the process of interviewing judicial candidates to learn their platforms. Looking for bias that hinder fair hearings, and background experience. Will post the interviews on Judicial Candidates video interview page.

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