The seven original judges of the Commonwealth Court were nominated by Governor Raymond Shafer and confirmed by the Senate in 1970.
James S. Bowman (seated in the center of the 1970 photo, above), a graduate of Duke University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a former member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and a former Judge of the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas, was appointed President Judge. He was President Judge until his death in 1980.
Second in seniority (and seated on the left) was James C. Crumlish of Philadelphia. A graduate of Georgetown University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, he was a former District Attorney in Philadelphia. He became President Judge of the Commonwealth Court in 1980 and served in that position until 1990. He was a Senior Judge for the Court until his death in 1991.
Third in seniority (and seated on the right) was Harry A. Kramer, a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and its law school. A former member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and a former Allegheny County Common Pleas Court Judge, Judge Kramer served on the Court until his death in 1977.
Fourth in seniority (and standing second from the left) was Roy Wilkinson, a graduate of Penn State University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. A resident of Centre County and a former Chair of the State Board of Law Examiners and a former Chair of the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission, Judge Wilkinson served on the Court until 1981 when he was appointed a Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court by Governor Richard Thornburgh.
Fifth in seniority (and standing second from the right) was Louis Manderino, a graduate of St. Vincent College and the Harvard Law School. A resident of Westmoreland County and a delegate at the 1967-68 Constitutional Convention, he had been a Professor of Law and Dean of Duquesne University School of Law. He served on the Court until January 1972 when he became a Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court after being elected in November 1971.
Sixth in seniority (and standing at the far left) was Glenn E. Mencer, a graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Michigan Law School. A former District Attorney and Common Pleas Court Judge in McKean County, Judge Mencer served on the Commonwealth Court until 1982, when he was appointed a United States Judge for the Western District of Pennsylvania by President Ronald Reagan.
Seventh in seniority (and standing at the far right) was Alexander F. Barbieri, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. A former Common Pleas Court Judge in Philadelphia, Judge Barbieri served on the Court until January 4, 1971 when he was sworn in as a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice after having been appointed by Governor Shafer. After being defeated for election to the Supreme Court in 1971, Judge Barbieri became Pennsylvania’s first Court Administrator and later served as a Senior Judge on the Commonwealth Court from 1983 until his death in 1993.
More complete biographies of the seven original judges of the Commonwealth Court can be found at 1 Pa. Commonwealth Court XVii – XXVii (1970).
Last updated 9/30/21