June 13, 2016
William C. Kashatus is a historian, educator, and writer Fifty years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a decision written by Chief Justice Earl Warren, affirmed the protections of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments by ruling that a suspect must be clearly informed prior to any questioning that he has the right to remain silent and that anything he says can be used against him in a court of law; that he has the right to the presence of an attorney; and...
March 10, 2016 |
In a last-minute effort to sell a deal to resolve the ethics case against Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin, his lawyers on Tuesday asked for the right to make public the terms of the proposed settlement. The lawyers said that even people accused of "atrocious crimes" typically get a chance to strike deals with prosecutors and present them in open court for judges to approve or reject. They asked the Court of Judicial Discipline to give Eakin the same opportunity. Moreover, attorneys William C. Costopoulos and Heidi F. Eakin - the justice's wife - asked for the chance to unveil the deal in a public session before the full judicial court, rather than to continue having his fate weighed only by a three-member panel.
January 8, 2016
WASHINGTON - The GOP-led Congress sent legislation to President Obama yesterday repealing his signature health law, fulfilling a promise to Republican voters in a presidential election year but inviting a certain veto. The nearly party-line vote in the House was 240-181. The legislation already passed the Senate last year under special rules protecting it from Democratic obstruction, so it goes straight to the White House. Republicans boasted of a signal achievement, saying they were forcing Obama to face up to the failures of his law while illustrating the stark political choices voters face.
September 30, 2015 |
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane can remain the state's highest law enforcement official even with a suspended law license, Pennsylvania's top jurist said Monday. Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas G. Saylor said the high court's decision to suspend Kane's license "is in no way constitutionally disabling. " He said Kane remains a member of the bar in Pennsylvania - a requirement, under the state constitution, for anyone to be attorney general. "An attorney who is the attorney general, and is suspended, is still a member of the bar of the Supreme Court, because the suspension is just temporary," Saylor said during a speech at the monthly press club luncheon in Harrisburg.
June 23, 2015 |
TONY FULWOOD had tears in his eyes when he walked into Frank Rizzo's hospital room and saw the mayor in the bed with a broken leg. Tony felt responsible for the injury, even though it was an accident and even though he was doing his job of protecting the mayor when an explosion rocked the Arco refinery in a nine-alarm fire in 1976, and he fell on Rizzo to protect him from the blast. "I hope you're not upset with me," Tony blubbered. "I wish I was in that bed instead of you. " "You know, Tony," Rizzo said.
January 13, 2015 |
He was almost home free. On his 23d birthday in 1967, Marine Lt. Ron Castille was leading a platoon on a search-and-destroy mission in Duc Pho, South Vietnam, when he was hit in the leg by a Viet Cong machine-gun round and evacuated from the fight. For a moment, it seemed he was on his way to the safety of the rear. But just as the Marine helicopter bearing Castille was clearing the battle zone, a burst of enemy fire raked the thin metal skin of its fuselage, tearing another and much more serious wound in his leg. Military surgeons said they had no choice but to amputate.
October 29, 2014
I HAVE READ with interest the coverage of your state Supreme Court, as I have long had concerns regarding the behavior of judicial officials, especially at such a high level. I will not comment on the pending conduct investigation of Justice McCaffery, as it would be more fair to allow for whatever minimum potential for due process that remains (probably none) to be reserved, and because I am acquainted with his wife and have met the Justice on a couple of occasions, although I have not seen or spoken to either of them in many years.
October 19, 2014 |
A skirmish between two rival Pennsylvania Supreme Court justices over pornographic e-mails erupted Friday into a full-court brawl, with a third justice stopping just short of lobbing blackmail accusations, and other colleagues fretting that the fighting had begun to erode the public's confidence in the bench. Responding to reports that he had received racist and pornographic content on a private e-mail account, Justice J. Michael Eakin said he never viewed those messages and accused another colleague caught up in the scandal, Justice Seamus P. McCaffery, of threatening to leak them to the media.
October 12, 2014 |
Pennsylvania Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille urged his colleagues Friday to take action against Justice Seamus P. McCaffery, reacting to newly disclosed sexually explicit e-mails McCaffery sent this year to the government account of his brother, a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge. In an interview, Castille, who viewed the messages obtained by The Inquirer, said their graphic contents "undermine our moral authority" and the respect the citizenry has for the court system. "It's a cloud over all of the courts," Castille said after seeing the e-mails.
October 10, 2014 |
The most famous legal analysis of hard-core pornography ever formulated was U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart's: "I know it when I see it. " Inconveniently enough, when it comes to the pornographic e-mail traded by Pennsylvania officials and uncovered by Attorney General Kathleen Kane, seeing it seems to be the hard part. Kane apparently relies on much more complex legal theories than Stewart's to decide who may see the explicit material in question. As The Inquirer reported this week, she initially demurred when the state's chief justice, Ronald D. Castille, tried to determine whether any judges had participated in Harrisburg's pornopalooza.