Courts Change Lives

Updated: Mar 6

The Impact of the Gavel

While we may not think of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania every day, the rulings the Court makes affect the very institutions on which we depend. From taxes and finances to healthcare and education, the courts - and especially the Commonwealth Court - matter quite a bit.

Just some examples could include highly publicized election results, championing increased rights for victimized children, or preserving a town’s history. Even judicial elections themselves can affect criminality rates in affected regions.

All these cases dramatically influence the way our society functions. These rulings can define our community’s future and give voice to the unheard.

The Court’s role as a change agent is especially powerful in state appellate courts like the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. This unique court hears cases about state-regulated bodies, like the education systems or financial institutions. Though average citizens might not feel the force of these decisions right away, these rulings might affect how their banks are regulated, how healthcare is distributed, and what kind of education their children will receive in school.

Working Together for a Better Future

The Honorable Lori A. Dumas understands the responsibility a Commonwealth Court judge holds as she makes decisions that affect people’s lives, today and in the future.

“I believe in the ‘it takes a village’ philosophy,” she explained. “There should be a collaborative effort between community and the courts.”

This is why there needs to be better representation through a more diverse Commonwealth Court. Right now the Court lacks diversity in partisanship and color, leaving a lot of Pennsylvanians behind. If a critical case came to the Court that affected all Pennsylvanians, the current court couldn’t accurately reflect the people or "bring forth decisions that are informed by a full understanding of all Pennsylvanians," Judge Dumas said.

Representation Matters

Judge Dumas is committed to improving representation and accuracy of the court’s rulings through her unique perspective as an African-American woman from Southeast Philadelphia.

Through her work with victimized children and human trafficking, Judge Dumas learned the critical nature of the Court’s work and how it can be used for great positive impact. Judge Dumas believes it’s the Court’s duty to protect the most vulnerable Pennsylvanians, including seniors, the impoverished, the mentally ill, minors and other marginalized citizens.

As a Commonwealth Court judge, Judge Dumas would have the tools to make a huge difference for Pennsylvania. “I could continue to help families and children,” she said, ”by impacting the systems that impact lives: education, healthcare, and others.”

Together, we can help create a better future for Pennsylvania. See what you can do to help the Judge Dumas campaign here.