Since its creation in 2007, the Historical Society has been involved with numerous activities, with many more envisioned for the future.

On September 15, 2009 the Historical Society participated in the dedication of the James S. Bowman En Banc Courtroom on the fifth floor of the Pennsylvania Judicial Center (PJC) on Commonwealth Avenue. The construction of the PJC was announced in September 2004 by Governor Rendell and (then) Chief Justice Cappy. Construction began in 2006 and the Court moved in in August 2009.

The Historical Society participated in the celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Court on June 22, 2010 in Harrisburg. More than 160 people attended the celebration and dinner.

The Historical Society has also arranged for the publication of a series of 18 articles on the contribution of the Commonwealth Court to various areas of Pennsylvania jurisprudence since 1970. The articles were published in the Widener Law Journal in 2011 and 2012.

The Historical Society sponsors an annual lecture. In 2010 the lecture was presented by Professor John Q. Barrett of St. John's University School of Law on the legal career of United States Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson. The 2011 lecture was given by former Pennsylvania Governor Richard Thornburgh. The 2012 lecture was given June 5 by Ken Gormley, Dean of the Duquesne Law School on The Death of American Virture: Clinton vs. Starr. The 2013 presentation was made by Attorney Greg Harvey and Professor Michael Dimino on the significance of the 2010 United States Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The 2014 presentation was a joint lecture by Attorney Chuck Proctor and Professor Tom Place on the background to and significance of the 2014 United States Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby-Consetoga Wood cases. The 2015 presentation was by Penn Law School professor Cary Coglianese on the timely subject The Future of Regulations. The 2016 presentation was by University of North Carolina Law School professor Michael J. Gerhardt on "How Presidential Legacies are Built (or Torn Down); The 2017 presentation was by the president and CEO of the National Constitutional Center Jeffrey Rosen who spoke on "Louis Brandeis and the Curse of Bigness."

In 2018 the Historical Society sponsored two outstanding lectures. On September 12, Professor of Political Science at Dickinson College, James Hoefler, presented a lecture entitled "Alexander Hamilton and the Federalist Papers." On November 13, Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University Akhil Reed Amar, presented a lecture on the topic "Who Judges the Judges" based on a chapter in his recent book The Constitution Today.

The Historical Society is active in arranging for oral histories from various judges including Judge Glenn E. Mencer, President Judge David W. Craig, Judge Richard DiSalle, Judge John MacPhail, Senior Judges Emil Narick, Jess Jiuliante and Charles Mirarchi, President Judge Joseph T. Doyle, Visiting Senior Judge Eunice Ross, and Judge Johnny Butler along with the reminiscences of former administrators Ron Darlington, Dan Schuckers and Charles (Chip) Hostutler. The Historical Society has also obtained the oral histories of Rosemary Collins, former secretary to President Judge Crumlish, and prominent attorney Stanley Siegel.

The Historical Society provides a scholarship to a Penn State – Dickinson Law School student and to a Widener University Commonwealth Law School student who has shown an interest in and excelled in state or federal administrative law.



Last updated 12/7/19




Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court
Historical Society

Preserving the history of one of the nation's unique judicial institutions