Thomas G. Saylor becomes 56th Chief Justice of Pennsylvania
January 9, 2015
Thomas G. Saylor of Camp Hill was inducted as Pennsylvania’s 56th chief justice of the Supreme Court. As chief justice, he becomes the administrative head of Pennsylvania’s Unified Judicial System.
Chief Justice Saylor is the first chief justice from southcentral Pennsylvania in a century, the last being Chief Justice J. Hay Brown of Lancaster who assumed office in January 1915.
The ceremony took place in the historic Supreme Court Courtroom in the Capitol Building. Chief Justice Saylor was sworn in by outgoing Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille, who had reached the mandatory retirement age of 70.
In Pennsylvania, the longest-serving justice becomes chief justice. Chief Justice Saylor was first elected to the Supreme Court in 1997 and won retention in 2007. Supreme Court terms are 10 years.
Before his election to the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Saylor had served on Pennsylvania’s Superior Court since January 1994.
He entered the general practice of law in 1972 and served as first assistant district attorney in Somerset County from 1973-1976. In 1982 he joined the Office of Attorney General as the director of Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Consumer Protection and was named the first deputy attorney general in 1983, serving until 1987 when he returned to a private law practice.
The new chief justice was born and raised in Meyersdale, Somerset County. He received his bachelor’s degree in government from the University of Virginia in 1969, his juris doctorate from the Columbia University School of Law in 1972 and a master’s degree in law from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2004.
Chief Justice Saylor, 68, is a member of the Appellate Judges Conference of the American Bar Association and a member of the Pennsylvania, Cumberland and Dauphin counties Bar Associations. He is also a member of the American Law Institute.
Both the Widener University School of Law and Shippensburg University have awarded Chief Justice Saylor honorary doctor of laws degrees.
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Media contact: Amy Kelchner, 717-231-3328