The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is one of the most powerful institutions in the commonwealth. It decides whether state laws are constitutional and it is the final authority on how to interpret Pennsylvania laws that impact our day-to-day lives. 

Last year, the state Supreme Court had the final word in making sure Pennsylvanians can still vote by mail. And that’s just one of dozens of cases that the court has heard about the right to vote since 2020. 

The court has also been and will continue to be a big factor in criminal legal reform. This includes funding for criminal defense lawyers for low-income people; setting new rules for bail and probation; and making sure that Pennsylvanians aren’t stuck in jails and prisons simply because they don’t have enough money to pay court fines or fees. The state Supreme Court is the final arbiter in how we address the commonwealth’s mass incarceration crisis. 

With last year’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, we must depend on the state Supreme Court to protect access to abortion care. Abortion rights would be on the chopping block in Pennsylvania with one or two changes to the composition of the court.

Fortunately, we the people have a say in the makeup of the state Supreme Court because, in Pennsylvania, we elect our Supreme Court justices. This November, every Pennsylvania voter will get a say in who the next state Supreme Court justice will be. 

From abortion rights to criminal legal and policing reform to your fundamental democratic right to cast a vote that is counted, our freedoms depend on who sits on the court. That’s why it’s so important to make an informed decision about which candidate you support and to show up to vote on or before Election Day on November 7, 2023.


Learn more about the state Supreme Court elections from Ballotpedia

If you’re not registered to vote, do so by October 23, 2023 on the Department of State’s website

If you’re already registered to vote you can request a mail-in ballot here

And as always, know your rights when you vote