Power List

Pennsylvania Judges

A record number of LGBTQ judges are serving in the Court of Common Pleas, with many of them having broken barriers to do so.

Daniel J. Anders

Daniel J. Anders | Anthony Leonardo

First appointed to the Court of Common Pleas in 2007 by then-Gov. Ed Rendell, Daniel J. Anders became the first openly gay man to be elected as a judge in the state of Pennsylvania when he won his 2009 race for a seat on the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, where he is now supervising judge of the court’s civil division. He is a past president of the International Association of LGBTQ+ Judges.

Ann M. Butchart

Ann M. Butchart | Anthony Leonardo

In 2005, Ann M. Butchart became the first openly LGBTQ person to be elected in the state when she won her race for the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas. The Rosemont and Temple Law graduate, who was retained for a second term in 2015, has presided in Family Court, Criminal Court and Civil Court. 

Dan Clifford

Dan Clifford | Submitted

In 2016, Dan Clifford became Pennsylvania’s first openly gay county official elected outside Philadelphia when he took office as a judge for the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas. He is a former chair of the Family Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and was included in Best Lawyers in America in 2015 and 2016.

Abbe F. Fletman

Abbe F. Fletman | Ted Fletman

A former journalist, Abbe Fletman was first appointed to the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas by Gov. Tom Corbett in 2014 before winning her election for a full, 10-year term the following year. She is a past co-chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Legal Rights of Lesbians and Gay Men Committee.

Idee Fox

Idee Fox | Submitted

Idee Fox has been President Judge of Philadelphia’s Court of Common Pleas since 2018 – 23 years after she won her first election to serve on the Court. The South Philadelphia native, who was in private practice before becoming a jurist, is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis School of Law.

Barbara A. McDermott

Barbara A. McDermott | Anthony Leonardo

Barbara A. McDermott is now in her second 10-year term as a judge of the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas after first being elected in 2011. A former criminal defense attorney who headed her own firm and also served as assistant district attorney in the homicide unit in Philadelphia, McDermott is a graduate of Georgetown Law.

Chris Mallios

Chris Mallios | Anthony Leonardo

The third time was the charm for Christopher Mallios, who won his 2015 election to become a judge for the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas after unsuccessful runs in 2011 and 2013. Mallios, a Temple Law graduate, was previously chief of the Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.

Tiffany Palmer

Tiffany Palmer | Lucy Baber

Tiffany Palmer, a trial court judge in the Family Court Division, received the most votes of any Court of Common Pleas candidate in the 2019 election. She is a former director of the Family Law Institute, a joint venture of the National LGBT Bar Association and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and is a current member of the International Association of LGBTQ+ Judges.  

Greg Yorgey-Girdy

Greg Yorgey-Girdy | Dick Dubroff

When Greg Yorgey-Girdy was sworn in as a judge for the Municipal Court in the First Judicial District, which handles criminal, civil and traffic cases, he became the first openly gay person of color to do so in Philadelphia. In addition to previous work as an attorney, Yorgey-Girdy is a former co-chair of the Liberty City LGBT+ Democratic Club.

NEXT STORY: The 2022 Pride Power 100