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The Dickinsonian

The student news site of Dickinson College.

The Dickinsonian

The student news site of Dickinson College.

The Dickinsonian

Carolyn Carluccio: Dickinson alumna running for state Supreme Court

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which serves at the highest court in the commonwealth, is the highest office open in this year’s November elections. Judge Carolyn Tornetta Carluccio, a Republican from Montgomery County and a Dickinson alumna from the class of 1982, is currently vying for an open seat on the pivotal court.

 

Carluccio currently serves as the president judge of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, which acts as the trial court in the state’s third most populous county. She was first elected to the court in 2009, and unanimously selected by her colleagues in 2021 as the president judge, a position that oversees 20 judges and 500 employees in the court. Carluccio accepted the responsibilities of this position in addition to actively overseeing cases in her judicial capacity.

 

Carluccio believes that the role of a judge should be to apply the law, and that activism from the bench is “unacceptable.” She said in regards to her judicial philosophy that she looks at a law and decides whether it is constitutional, and “that’s the limits of what a judge can do,” even if the law goes against their own personal views.

 

Carluccio touted her unanimous appointment as president judge in the role a judge should fill – as Montgomery County, a largely Democratic region, has more Democratic judges than Republicans. She said that despite being a registered Republican, “we can not be political” in terms of the law.

 

If Carluccio is elected, it would be the first time in Pennsylvania history where a majority of the Supreme Court is women. Carluccio noted this, saying she has often dealt with a ‘boy’s club’ mentality in the legal system, where “people don’t like a strong, independent woman” in positions of power. Given the fact she would often be the only woman in the room in professional settings, this potential milestone for the Court is of particular note for Carluccio.

 

While Carluccio initially majored in American studies at Dickinson, she became a Spanish major after studying abroad in Madrid. Despite this, she has “always been interested in law,” in part due to close family who worked in the legal system. After graduating from Dickinson, she then attended Widener University Delaware Law School for her law degree.

 

The Supreme Court election is being held to fill a vacancy created after the death of Chief Justice Max Baer in September 2022. The partisan majority of the Supreme Court would move in Republicans’ favor if Carluccio is elected, but it would still have a 4-3 majority of elected Democrats.

Election Day is from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 7. Students who are registered to vote at Dickinson can do so at Bosler Memorial Library, across the street from Denny Hall. More information about Carluccio and her campaign can be found on her website, judgecarluccio.com

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About the Contributor
Walker is a junior political science major from Shavertown, Pa. and is one of the 2023-24 Co-Editors-in-Chief. They previously served as Life & Style Editor in 2022-23, and have been writing with The Dickinsonian since freshman year. Some of their favorite stories they've written include a profile on John E. Jones when he became Dickinson's president, attempts to bring back a special interest house for the African diaspora, and when John Fetterman spoke in Carlisle. Outside of The Dickinsonian, they are also involved with WDCV, Random Acts of Kindness and Dickinson Votes. In their free time, they love reading, finding new music, photography, and playing video games.

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