HARRISBURG (Oct. 7, 2020) — Pennsylvania Bar Association President David E. Schwager has issued the following statement regarding a House Resolution that calls for the impeachment of Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice David N. Wecht:
“Our democracy, above all else, rests on the rule of law. Our democracy depends on the separation of powers among the judicial, legislative and executive branches.
Judges must be free to exercise their judicial discretion in reaching decisions in cases, including difficult and politically charged cases.
The judiciary must have the independence to interpret the law without political interference or threats of impeachment by another branch of our democracy. The remedy for those who disagree with a court’s decision is to appeal consistent with the rule of law. The structure within our system of jurisprudence operates to protect the rights of all and has served our citizens for more than 200 years. The remedy of impeachment is an extreme one that should be invoked sparingly and only in the most extraordinary circumstances.
Justice Wecht is a jurist of the highest integrity whose reputation for fairness is beyond reproach. As a dedicated member of the bench, Justice Wecht's appellate opinions have provided exceptional legal analysis that guides the lawyers of this commonwealth and have provided justice under the law for our citizens.
Although House Resolution 1044 has been introduced in the General Assembly, we believe that our legislators will keep the public trust in our system of government, the independence of our judiciary and the rule of law, even though they may disagree with decisions of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.”
Founded in 1895, the Pennsylvania Bar Association strives to promote justice, professional excellence and respect for the law; improve public understanding of the legal system; facilitate access of legal services; and serve the lawyer members of the state's largest organized bar association.