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Senate committee recommends Stevens for Supreme Court

June 28. 2013 1:46AM

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HARRISBURG — The Senate Judiciary Committee has voted unanimously to recommend the confirmation of Superior Court Judge Correale Stevens to a vacant seat on the state Supreme Court.

Next, the full Senate will consider the nomination of the former Luzerne County district attorney and county judge.

Earlier this month, Gov. Tom Corbett chose Stevens, who serves as president judge of the state Superior Court, to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court left by the resignation of Joan Orie Melvin.

Stevens, of Sugarloaf Township, has served as president judge of the state Superior Court since 2011 and has been a member of that court since 1998.

A familiar face in state politics and government, Stevens, 66, has had a long career in public service.

A Hazle Township native, Stevens graduated from Penn State and from Dickinson School of Law, engaging in private law practice. He served as solicitor for the city of Hazleton and for the Hazleton City Authority before his election to the state House of Representatives in 1980. He was re-elected to three more consecutive terms.

After serving four years as Luzerne County district attorney, Stevens won both parties’ nominations to the county Court of Common Pleas in 1991. He was elected to the state Superior Court in 1997 and won a retention vote by a nearly 2-to-1 margin in 2007.

Stevens was introduced to the committee by committee member Sen. John R. Gordner, who made the motion to approve Steven’s nomination.

State Sen. John Yudichak applauded the committee for its unanimous vote Thursday.

“I have known Judge Stevens for nearly two decades, and in that time I have come to greatly admire the depth of his personal character and the expanse of his professional experience,” Yudichak said. “Judge Stevens has been one of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s finest leaders throughout the years and he will bring the talents of a legislator, district attorney, county judge and president judge of the Superior Court to Pennsylvania’s highest court.”

Pennsylvania law requires a two-thirds vote of the Senate to confirm a nominee to the Supreme Court. A Senate vote on Steven’s appointment is expected to take place within the next few days.

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