The Lead

Wolf nominates senior Senate GOP aide Crompton to fill appeals court vacancy

By: and - November 19, 2019 8:51 am

The Pennsylvania Judicial Center in Harrisburg (Capital-Star file)

This story will be updated.

A long-time top aide to Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson, has been tapped for a seat on one of Pennsylvania’s top appellate courts.

Drew Crompton, who has spent more than a decade working for Republican state Senate leaders and currently works as the caucus’s top lawyer, was nominated by Gov. Tom Wolf Monday for an empty seat on Commonwealth Court.

His nomination appeared on an executive calendar for Tuesday, Nov. 19, and could come before a Senate committee on the same day.

If he’s seated on the bench, Crompton would replace judge Robert Simpson, who retired from the court in August, and serve a two-year term.

His appointment must be approved by a two-thirds vote by the state Senate.

Judges on Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court are selected in partisan elections. They serve 10-year terms and can run for reelection — or “retention” — but must retire at age 75.

In case of an early retirement, the governor appoints a replacement subject to Senate approval.

Commonwealth Court judges are some of the highest-paid public employees in Pennsylvania, earning an annual salary of $191,926, according to the National Center for State Courts.

Crompton told the Capital-Star in a text message Tuesday that he has had an interest in the judiciary for several years, and that he applied for a federal judgeship seat last year and was not selected.

“I love my Senate family and although there is never a good time to leave, when I became aware of this vacancy, I expressed my interest,” Crompton said. “I look forward to the process as it moves through the Senate and I am honored to have the opportunity to discuss with the Senate members my interest and what I believe I have to offer to the Commonwealth Court.”

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Elizabeth Hardison
Elizabeth Hardison

Elizabeth Hardison covered education policy, election administration, criminal justice and legislative news for the Capital-Star from Jan. 2019-April 2021. You can find her on Twitter @ElizHardison.

Stephen Caruso
Stephen Caruso

Stephen Caruso is a former senior reporter with Pennsylvania Capital-Star. Before working with the Capital-Star he covered Pennsylvania state government for The PLS Reporter.