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NEWS
June 29, 2014 | By Rita Giordano, Inquirer Staff Writer
The New Jersey Supreme Court has rebuffed efforts by two local charter schools to delay their Department of Education-ordered closings. The D.U.E. Season Charter School in Camden and the Renaissance Regional Leadership Charter School in Pemberton Township lost their bids for emergency relief because they "failed to demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merit," according to court documents dated Friday. The schools have been told they must close as of Monday, state Education Department spokesman Rich Vespucci said.
NEWS
June 29, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
A federal appeals court on Friday temporarily stayed a lower court order that could have left the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and several associated nonprofits on the hook for up to $160,000 in fines for each day they refused to cover contraception costs for their more than 4,000 employees. The decision, handed down late in the day by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, came just in time for church officials, who faced a Monday deadline to start covering birth control or face steep penalties under the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA)
NEWS
June 28, 2014 | By Martha Woodall and Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writers
In what the Philadelphia teachers' union hailed as a major victory, the state Supreme Court said Thursday that it would not get involved in whether the School Reform Commission has the authority to bypass seniority and impose other work rule changes. In the spring, the commission asked the state's top court to declare that it had the power under the state takeover law to impose the changes, including disregarding seniority for teacher assignments, transfers, layoffs and recalls. The 11,000-member Philadelphia Federation of Teachers opposed the SRC's moves.
NEWS
June 28, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
An aide to City Councilwoman Jannie L. Blackwell testified Thursday that his boss had no idea he had dropped her name at Philadelphia Traffic Court in the hope of fixing a ticket for one of her distant relations. James Fenton, Blackwell's director of constituent services, said the councilwoman's brother-in-law contacted him in 2011 about a citation his brother had received. Fenton called court staff to ask for help, but never mentioned the matter to his boss, he said. The ticket landed in front of Willie Singletary, a judge Blackwell helped elect to Traffic Court.
NEWS
June 28, 2014 | By Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Although real estate developer Ori Feibush plans to run for Kenyatta Johnson's seat on Philadelphia City Council, the first battle between the men may play out in federal court. Feibush filed a lawsuit late Wednesday accusing Johnson of preventing him from buying two vacant city lots and thwarting his bid to build on a larger tract, both as political retribution. "It's unconscionable to retaliate," Feibush said. "You may not like me - and that's OK - but you have to follow the law. " Johnson previously said he halted the sale of two vacant lots on the 1300 block of South Cleveland Street in Point Breeze because he wanted them set aside as part of an affordable housing strategy championed by Council President Darrell L. Clarke.
NEWS
June 27, 2014 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
In a ruling likely to have implications in Pennsylvania and nationwide, a federal appeals court said Wednesday that states cannot bar same-sex couples from marrying. In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit affirmed a lower-court ruling declaring Utah's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. The opinion came amid a flurry of legal activity on the issue Wednesday, including a ruling allowing gay marriage in Indiana, filings in a Pennsylvania appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and changes to same-sex partner benefits in Allegheny County.
NEWS
June 27, 2014
Before lawmakers congratulate themselves on proposals to trim one of the most bloated legislatures in the nation, they need to scrap companion cuts slated for the state appellate courts. No question, there's room for spirited debate on the merits of shrinking the state House by 25 percent, from 203 to 153 members, and reducing the state Senate from 50 to 45 members. But the suggestion that the state's busiest appellate court could sacrifice four of its 15 judges, with another pair lopped off the state's seven-member Supreme Court, hasn't been tested.
NEWS
June 27, 2014 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
THE STATE SUPREME COURT will not weigh in on the School Reform Commission's authority to overhaul work rules for teachers, including disregarding seniority in assignments and layoffs. The court issued the order yesterday, with two of the seven justices dissenting. The one-page ruling does not explain why the court declined to hear the case. Both the SRC and the teachers union offered vastly different interpretations of the order, with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers calling it a victory.
BUSINESS
June 25, 2014 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Television broadcasters' case against streaming company Aereo Inc. at the U.S. Supreme Court - a legal face-off that some say could disrupt the TV business - seems to be going down to the wire. The Supreme Court released three new opinions on Monday, leaving Aereo for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Monday, legal experts say. "These are not easy decisions," Neil Begley, the media and entertainment analyst with Moody's Investor Service, said Monday. "There is enormous potential precedent here.
NEWS
June 25, 2014 | By Suzette Parmley, Inquirer Staff Writer
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday dashed New Jersey's hopes to institute sports betting at Atlantic City casinos and the state's racetracks by upholding a federal ban that limits the activity to four states and denying the state's appeal of a lower court ruling. Last year, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia upheld a trial judge's ruling that sided with the four professional sports leagues - Major League Baseball, the NFL, the NHL, and the NBA, as well as the NCAA - and shot down New Jersey's attempt to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA)
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