Five of the judicial candidates Gov. Tom Corbett nominated to temporarily fill vacancies

on the benches of three state trial courts have been confirmed by the Pennsylvania Senate.

Two judges will take the bench in eastern Pennsylvania, two will preside in the western part of the state and one will fill a vacancy on a bench in central Pennsylvania.

Those who won confirmation to the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas are Kenneth Powell and former Judge Roger Gordon.

The Allegheny County Common Pleas Court welcomes Paul E. Cozza and Bill Ward, Gov. Corbett’s former chief of staff.

And Michael Flannelly won a seat on the York County Court of Common Pleas.

In May, the governor nominated seven judicial candidates, five of who passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The nominations caused some discord between the executive and judicial branches after State Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille voiced opposition to filling the vacancies due to court budgetary concerns.

But Corbett nevertheless decided to push for the nominations, saying he felt the positions needed to be filled, according to media reports.

The nominations passed the Senate in a unanimous vote this past Saturday, according to the advocacy group Pennsylvanians For Modern Courts.

Because all judges are elected in Pennsylvania, the nominations are only temporary; all five judges would have to run for election to a full term in 2013.

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