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NEWS
July 4, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Years before he became one of five former Philadelphia Traffic Court judges charged in a federal ticket fixing case, Willie Singletary had already made a name for himself. There was the $11,500 in traffic tickets he amassed before his election to the court. Then the flap he caused by showing a female employee cellphone photos of his genitals. And - in what good-government wags described at the time as a bald representation of the city's politics of personal favors - there was the 2007 speech to a biker rally promising his "hookup" to campaign donors.
NEWS
July 3, 2014 | BY JENNY DeHUFF, Daily News Staff Writer dehuffj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5218
ANGELO HARMON was a compelling witness yesterday in the ongoing federal corruption-and-fraud trial of alleged ticket-fixing by Philadelphia Traffic Court judges. Maybe it was his demeanor, his defiant tone of voice, as he testified under immunity about his relationship with his cousin, former Traffic Court Judge Willie Singletary. Harmon, a witness for the prosecution, testified that he never asked for preferential treatment by his cousin when traffic tickets came before him. "Would you want preferential treatment?"
NEWS
July 3, 2014 | BY DYLAN SEGELBAUM, Daily News Staff Writer segelbd@phillynews.com, 215-854-5917
IN A FIERY two-hour trial, a Common Pleas judge yesterday found a Germantown man who attacked a visually impaired person outside a deli in October guilty of two misdemeanors, acquitting him of aggravated assault - the most serious offense. But spectators in the courtroom may not have known that Mustafa Guyton was the one on trial. For almost 30 minutes, victim Akil Solomon shouted at the prosecutor and the judge during his witness testimony - frustrated that he could not identify Guyton as his attacker based on what others had told him. "This is really a joke right now," Solomon said after being told he could not introduce "hearsay" evidence during his testimony.
NEWS
July 2, 2014 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Pamela Harris is an Illinois mother who takes care of her adult son, Joshua, who has a disabling condition. And with Monday's U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case bearing her name, Harris' advocacy against public-sector unions could have far-reaching consequences for organized labor, and for a particular and growing class of workers - those who provide home care for people with disabilities. "I don't want my home being a union workplace," Harris said in an online video. She also doesn't want to pay fees to the union - and in its 5-4 decision, the court ruled she doesn't have to. "We are reviewing the decision to determine what impact [it]
NEWS
July 2, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a blow to the Obama administration's signature health care law Monday, ruling that employers with religious objections can refuse to pay for their employees' contraception in twin cases brought by a Lancaster County cabinet manufacturer and one of the nation's largest craft supply chains. In their 5-4 decision, the justices recognized for the first time that for-profit business - such as Conestoga Wood Specialties, owned by a Mennonite family in East Earl, and Oklahoma-based Hobby Lobby - can exercise religious views derived from their owners.
BUSINESS
July 2, 2014 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
The U.S. Supreme Court gave the go-ahead Monday to a lawsuit by victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks against the government of Saudi Arabia, alleging it indirectly financed al-Qaeda in the years before the hijackings. The justices declined to hear an appeal by the Saudi government of a lower-court ruling that the lawsuit could go forward. The high court also declined to hear a separate appeal by 9/11 victims of a lower-court decision preventing them from suing dozens of banks and individuals that allegedly provided financial assistance to the hijackers.
NEWS
July 2, 2014 | CHRISTINE FLOWERS
THAT "THUD" you just heard was the sound of progressives, secularists and freebie-seekers thumping their foreheads in anguish. Or perhaps it was the rumble as millions of religious folk fell to their knees in gratitude that the Supreme Court had, for once in a blue moon, gotten the free-exercise clause of the First Amendment right. Or it possibly could have been the clamor of bricks from that imaginary Wall Between Church and State, crumbling to the ground in a felicitous heap.
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 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 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.
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