Castille, who is 69, will be required to retire at age 70 if he is retained.
Rock The Capital, a nonpartisan, voter-education organization that was founded in 2005 in reaction to the controversial passage in the General Assembly of pay raises for its members as well as for statewide judiciary, is carrying on its website a plea for voters to deny Chief Justice Castille. It was written by Tom Potts, who helped found another anti-establishment group, Democracy Rising PA.
Watchdog Potts excoriated the Chief Justice as having “distinguished himself for poor judgment, legal sleight-of-hand, intemperance, double-standards of conduct, and allowing corruption in our courts to flourish.”
Potts cited Castille’s decision that his own pay raise was constitutional in 2005 as one reason for a “no” vote. He also criticized Castille for having overlooked warning signs in the Luzerne Co. “cash for kids” juvenile-justice scandal and for steering the new $200 million Family Court building to a contractor represented by an attorney he was friends with.
Normally judicial retention votes are a sure thing for incumbents. But Castille’s fellow Philadelphian Justice Russell Nigro was actually turfed by voters in the November 2005 election as punishment for endorsing that notorious pay increase.
That was eight years ago, however. It remains to be seen if voters’ memories stretch that far back in Castille’s case.