Ronald D. Castille

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Ronald D. Castille
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
In office
January 14, 2008 – present
Preceded by Ralph J. Cappy
Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
In office
January 3, 1994 – January 14, 2008
22nd District Attorney of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
In office
January 6, 1986[1] – March 12, 1991[2]
Preceded by Ed Rendell
Succeeded by Lynne Abraham
Personal details
Born (1944-03-16) March 16, 1944 (age 70)
Miami, Florida
Alma mater Auburn University
University of Virginia School of Law

Ronald D. Castille (born March 16, 1944) is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Under the court's mandatory retirement rules, he must step down from the court on December 31, 2014, the final day of the calendar year in which he reached the age of 70. He was the District Attorney of the City of Philadelphia from 1986 until 1991 and is a member of the Republican Party. He is also an amputee (requiring the use of crutches), having lost his right leg to enemy gunfire while serving as a Marine platoon commander during the Vietnam War.

In 2012, Castille, a Republican, cast the deciding vote against the Pennsylvania Legislative Reapportionment Commission's redistricting map, siding with his Democratic colleagues. In his opinion, Castille wrote that the map split too many municipalities.[3] He also wrote the unanimous opinion upholding the LRC's revised redistricting maps in 2013.[4]

Marine Corps service[edit]

Castille received a B.S. in Economics from Auburn University in 1966. Following graduation was commissioned an officer in the United States Marine Corps in Vietnam where he served as a platoon commander in 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines. On March 16, 1967, Castille was conducting a Search and destroy mission with his company in Duc Pho, Quang Ngai Province when they came under attack from a Viet Cong battalion. During the fighting Castille was seriously wounded and fell, unable to move. One of his Marines, Angel Mendez shielded him and then carried him to friendly lines, which were more than seventy-five meters away. During this action Mendez was hit in the shoulder and two of his comrades rushed to help him with Castille but Mendez refused to let go of Castille and chose to act as rear man. Mendez continued to shield his Lieutenant with his own body until he was mortally wounded. For his actions Mendez was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross and promoted to Sergeant.[5]


Following his medical retirement from the Marine Corps in 1968 Castille received his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. In 1986 he was elected District Attorney of Philadelphia and served until 1991. Prior to his election to the Supreme Court, he was in private practice as a civil litigator for Reed Smith Shaw & McClay in Philadelphia. He was elected to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in 1993.[6]

On January 14, 2008, Castille was sworn in as Chief Justice of Pennsylvania.[7] He reached the mandatory retirement age of 70 years on March 16, 2014.

Castille was elected to membership in the American Law Institute in 2014.

While Chief Justice, Castille, in his capacity as head administrator of the Pennsylvania courts, hired Jeffrey B. Rotwitt to act as the courts' attorney in a project to built a new family courthouse in Philadelphia County.[8] Journalists at The Philadelphia Inquirer revealed that Rotwitt was simultaneously acting as a business partner of the construction project's developer and was therefore involved on both sides of the transaction. Castille later claimed to have been duped by Rotwitt.

Awards and decorations[edit]

Among Ron Castille's awards and decorations are the following:

See also[edit]



Legal offices
Preceded by
Ralph J. Cappy
Chief Justice of Pennsylvania
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Ed Rendell
District Attorney of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Succeeded by
Lynne Abraham