After earning the Philadelphia Inquirer’s endorsement and significantly outraising his opponent, it’s clear Vic Stabile has captured the momentum heading into Election Day.
Inquirer Editorial: Stabile is superior
County judges hoping to move up to Pennsylvania’s busiest appellate court traditionally have had the edge over candidates who haven’t already been fitted for judicial robes. As the reasoning goes, who better than an experienced judge to review decisions made by the lower courts? That work forms a large part of the caseload of the 15-member Superior Court, which handles most appeals of criminal and civil matters in the commonwealth.
But this fall’s contest between a Pittsburgh-based judge and a Harrisburg corporate attorney offers other factors for voters to consider. In defeating a lower-court judge for the Democratic nomination last spring, Allegheny County Family Court Judge John T. McVay Jr. stood out for his judicial experience and earlier work as a government attorney. But McVay’s current Republican opponent, Victor P. Stabile, highlights a gap in the judge’s resumé. As noted by the Pennsylvania Bar Association, which gave both candidates a “recommended” rating, McVay offers “limited experience before the appellate courts.”
A former counsel to the Allegheny County Housing Authority and assistant solicitor for both the county and Pittsburgh, McVay has the useful perspective of having presided over a trial court for six years. He’s also well-regarded in the county’s legal circles and, according to the state bar, “recognized for his diligence, excellent temperament, and willingness to employ unique solutions” in juvenile dependency, delinquency, and other family-law matters.
Stabile’s credentials for the Superior Court are no less impressive, however. As the longtime head of the Harrisburg office of a Philadelphia-based law firm, Stabile was praised by the state bar for his “strong writing skills, administrative ability, and experience in handling cases in the appellate courts.” In addition to dealing with a range of business-law matters, he has served as a litigator for the state attorney general, a clerk in the appellate courts, and an elected township supervisor in Cumberland County.
Most important, Stabile displays an enthusiasm for legal scholarship that spans a 30-year career, an impressive work ethic, and what the bar called a “passion for . . . public service.” Despite being on the bench, McVay comes up somewhat short by comparison. On Nov. 5, voters would do well to elect VIC STABILE to the Superior Court. (Inquirer Editorial: Stabile is superior. Philadelphia Inquirer. October 27, 2013.)
Stabile leads McVay in fundraising for open Pa. Superior Court seat
Republican Vic Stabile, a Harrisburg attorney and former Cumberland County GOP chairman, has a financial lead on his Democratic opponent for an open seat on one of Pennsylvania’s two lower-tier appellate courts, the Associated Press reported on Friday. Stabile is surging ahead in the money department, with the mid-state lawyer having raised more than $250,000 to Democrat Jack McVay’s reported campaign chest of $96,000, according to the AP. (Campisi, Jon. Stabile leads McVay in fundraising for open Pa. Superior Court seat. The Pennsylvania Record. October 28, 2013.)
Stabile seeks seat on Superior Court
Victor P. “Vic” Stabile said he is making his second try for a seat on the state Superior Court in order to make a difference in the lives of people in Schuylkill County and across Pennsylvania.
“This is a position of trust,” Stabile said during an interview Thursday at The Republican-Herald office. “I view this as a position of public service. I will be a judge who will perform my duties the way the court requires it.”
Stabile, 56, of Carlisle, Middlesex Township, Cumberland County, is running for a 10-year term on the Superior Court, one of the state’s two intermediate appellate courts. A Republican, he will be up against Allegheny County Judge Jack McVay Jr., a Democrat, in the Nov. 5 General Election.
He lost his race in 2011 for a seat on the same court, which hears appeals in criminal and civil cases from county courts of common pleas, to Judge David N. Wecht, another Allegheny County Democrat.
Stabile said the loss did not discourage him from trying again.
“If it’s something you believe in and something you want to do, you do it,” he said. “You try until you succeed. I hope the people of Pennsylvania know a little bit more about me.”
One thing Stabile wants Pennsylvanians to know is that he will be a fair and honest judge who shows no partiality.
“You’re trying to get equal justice,” he said. “Apply the law the way it is written.”
A judge who legislates from the bench violates the fundamental principle of equal justice, according to Stabile.
“I’m not going to legislate from the bench. It’s epitomized by the statue of justice. It’s blindfolded,” Stabile said. “I have been in courtrooms where justice has not been blind. It’s wrong.”
He also said his broad-based experience as a clerk for a Commonwealth Court judge, a deputy attorney general and a lawyer in the Harrisburg office of Dilworth Paxson, one of Pennsylvania’s largest law firms, gives him the different perspectives necessary for an appellate court judge.
“I have significant experience in a very broad range of law. I have significant trial experience,” Stabile said. “That broad experience would complement the Superior Court.”
Not only does Stabile have broad legal experience, he said he also has significant community involvement, including 10 years of service as a Middlesex Township supervisor.
“I have spent probably half of my professional career in community service,” he said.
As a judge, Stabile said he will serve the people of the entire state. However, he noted that almost all the judges on the current court are from the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh areas, with none from the central part of the state.
“All of central Pennsylvania has not had a judge elected (to the Superior Court) in almost 20 years,” he said.
Judges have the responsibility of upholding individual rights, and Stabile said he would take that responsibility seriously if elected to the Superior Court.
“It is the individual for whom the courts are principally to serve. Ultimately, it is the judiciary that has to remain the steady force in this country,” he said. “This court, when it decides cases, affects everybody. They’re entitled to your best effort. (Bortner, Peter. Stabile seeks seat on Superior Court. Pottsville Republican Herald. October 26, 2013.)