With three vacant judicial seats, the York County Common Pleas Court is on the verge of becoming a "sinking ship."

It's not surprising, considering no one — so far — has been willing to take the wheel.

Only the governor has the authority to nominate a temporary judicial appointment, which must be approved by two-thirds of the state Senate.

But Gov. Tom Corbett makes his selections – and appropriately so – based on input from the communities those judges will serve.

As off this week, his spokesman, Jay Pagni, said, he hasn't received a recommendation.

That's outrageous.

It's not as if York County was caught off guard by a sudden exodus from the bench.

Judge Sheryl Ann Dorney retired a year ago, and it has been seven months since Judge Penny L. Blackwell followed her off the bench.

Now the county has temporarily lost a third judge, Craig Trebilcock, who was activated last month for a one-year stint in the U.S. Army Reserves.

Meanwhile, the county's 12 remaining judges' workloads are piling up as they take on more cases and duties.

"We are a floundering ship, and I think, in the near future, are going to be a sinking ship because we just don't have judicial resources keeping us afloat," President Judge Stephen P. Linebaugh said.

Linebaugh said it's not appropriate for the court to make judicial nominations; someone else has to take the lead.


Unfortunately, we're still waiting for that leader, despite prodding from Linebaugh, who said he's sent letters to Corbett and local senators that explain how important it is for the position to be filled.

The situation is now "critical," according to the president judge.

Lawmakers typically recommend candidates to the governor.

After Judge Chuck Patterson unexpectedly died Nov. 21, 2011, former state Sen. Mike Waugh immediately conferred with Linebaugh, the bar association, business leaders and other politicians.

Within a month, he submitted county solicitor Mike Flannelly's name to the governor, and Flannelly was sworn in the following July.

Waugh resigned last year, but there are 11 people representing York in the state Legislature.

It's hard to believe not one of them is willing to lead on this issue.

This is, after all, about swift and fair justice for their constituents.