July 31, 1996 |
Today, without fanfare, an era ends on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Chief Justice Robert N.C. Nix Jr. - who joined the court nearly a quarter-century ago, who became the first African American to head any state's highest court, and who weathered the most turbulent period in the Pennsylvania high court's history - retires today. For Nix, who turned 68 this month, it has been a quiet departure. There have been no ceremonies, no state-level proclamations, no official marking of the occasion, although state and local bar associations plan to honor him in September.
October 29, 1992 |
Never before have justices of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court disciplined a colleague, or even asked to - until now. Just this month, in a 2-1 decision, the Supreme Court ordered that Justice Rolf Larsen be publicly reprimanded for "providing information to a Common Pleas Court judge relating to a matter that was pending before her. " Some think the reprimand is too harsh. Others think it is far too merciful toward the man next in line for chief justice of the state's highest court.
October 6, 1997 |
Shortly before moving to the top of the highest court in the land, Associate Justice William Hobbs Rehnquist was known as "The Lone Ranger" because of his frequent solo dissents. He is a Lone Ranger no more. As the Supreme Court heads today into its 12th year under Chief Justice Rehnquist, it may justly be dubbed the Rehnquist Court. Often the conservative trio of Rehnquist and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas have been joined by centrist Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Anthony M. Kennedy to generate 5-4 victories that are reshaping the law in the areas of race, religion and states' rights.
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.
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.
January 7, 1990 |
Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, who early in his Supreme Court tenure was kidded for being an ideological Lone Ranger, marks his 18th anniversary on the high court today - now the leader of a conservative majority. The survivor of a bruising 1986 Senate battle over his elevation to chief justice, Rehnquist has emerged as the collegial orchestrator of a major rightward shift in the court. "The Rehnquist court came of age" in 1989, said A.E. Dick Howard, a law professor at the University of Virginia.
January 21, 1999 |
In case you've been too busy to follow the Trial of the Century in the U.S. Senate, here's the complete official transcript so far: SERGEANT AT ARMS: Hear ye! Hear ye! Hear ye! All persons shut up and pay attention for the trial of the impeachment of the president of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton, on charges of messing around! No chewing of gum! SEN. LOTT: At this time, in accordance with the United States Senate Big Book O' Rules, Sen. Thurmond shall swear in the Chief Justice of the United States.
January 14, 1999 |
The U.S. Senate may be the world's most exclusive club, but it never hurts to reinforce good manners among the members, particularly when the world is getting ready to watch the nation's second presidential impeachment trial ever. So yesterday a discreet reminder was distributed by the Leadership Working Group, a sort of Miss Manners committee of senators set up by Majority Leader Trent Lott (R., Miss.). For those concerned with the niceties of impeachment decorum, here are some of the rules the group came up with: Senators should plan to be in attendance at all times during the proceedings.
August 6, 1986
What kind of attorney is William H. Rehnquist if he did not know the deeds on two pieces of real estate contained provisions forbidding the sale or lease to Jewish people or blacks? Is this the man we want to be the chief justice of the country? If a bigot is allowed to preside over our Supreme Court then our Supreme Court will no longer be supreme. Marcia Brody Cheltenham.
December 9, 1992 |
Funeral arrangements were announced yesterday for Richard J. Hughes, the former New Jersey governor and state Supreme Court chief justice. Calling hours will be Sunday from 3 to 9 p.m. at St. Mary's Cathedral, at North Warren and Bank Streets in Trenton. A Mass of Christian Burial will be Monday at 11 a.m. at Blessed Sacrament Church, Bellevue and North Hermitage Avenues, Trenton. Interment will follow at St. Mary's Cemetery on Cedar Lane in Trenton. Gov. Hughes died Monday at his Boca Raton, Fla., vacation home.