Penn State Alumnus Nominated To Pennsylvania Supreme Court

Penn State alumnus and current Centre County President Judge Thomas Kistler has been nominated to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Kistler, who got his bachelor’s degree from Penn State in 1979 and his law degree from the Dickinson School of Law in 1982, was nominated by Tom Wolf to fill one of two empty seats in the state supreme court, according to a press release from the office of the governor. Duquesne University School of Law’s dean and professor, Ken Gormley, was nominated for the second seat.

“I am pleased today to announce two extremely qualified and distinguished individuals as my nominees to serve on the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, the highest court in the Commonwealth,” said Governor Tom Wolf in the press release.

Wolf said he nominated these two to the state’s highest court after a “collaborative process” with members of the Pennsylvania State Senate.

Kistler worked as a common pleas judge in Centre County for about 14 years before he became his home county’s president judge in 2012. He is known for creating the Centre County Child Access Center, which helps children who suffer from domestic violence within separated or divorced families, according to the press release.

Prior to his work in the public sector, Kistler worked in private practice for 15 years. He served on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Criminal Procedural Rules Committee and as an investigative panel chairperson for the Judicial Evaluation Commission in the ’80s.

Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman said in a statement that Kistler will be a good addition to the Supreme Court based on his service in Centre County.

“As a lifelong member of Centre County, he has been dedicated to improving our community through his active involvement in local organizations, especially those that benefit children and families. He will be a welcome addition to the Supreme Court,” Corman’s statement said.

Though he is “thrilled” to be nominated for the supreme court seat, Kistler revealed that he will miss his current position. “I enjoy every day of my job here,” he said. “I’m going miss not only the people, but the work too.”

If he is confirmed for the position, Kistler, a resident of Potter Township, will serve on the Supreme Court until January 2016, when an elected judge will take the seat for a full 10-year term.

Photo: Penn State

About the Author

Mindy Szkaradnik

Mindy is a senior majoring in Print Journalism, Spanish, and Global and International Studies. She is the 12th member of her family to attend Penn State, she loves Bruce Springsteen, and her friends are always making fun of her for talking too much about study abroad. She can be reached on Twitter (@mszkarad) or via email ([email protected]).


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