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NEWS
June 1, 2016 | By Angela Couloumbis, HARRISBURG BUREAU
HARRISBURG - What began four years ago as a legislative initiative with little controversy - letting voters decide whether to raise the retirement age for judges from 70 to 75 - is now entangled in a heated court battle. Early in June, legislative Democrats will face off with Republican colleagues in Commonwealth Court over the GOP's eleventh-hour move to delay until the November election the vote on increasing the mandatory judicial retirement age. That question was supposed to be decided by voters in last month's primary.
NEWS
May 30, 2016
Jeffrey Rosen is president and CEO of the National Constitution Center A hundred years ago, on June 1, 1916, Louis Brandeis was confirmed as an associate justice of the Supreme Court. One hundred and twenty-five days elapsed between his nomination and confirmation - the longest period any nominee has waited in American history. (Merrick Garland will surpass this record in July.) The long delay in Brandeis' confirmation reflected the controversy he had inspired as the crusading "People's Attorney," who made his name by attacking financiers such as J.P. Morgan, who took reckless risks with what Brandeis called "other people's money.
NEWS
May 28, 2016 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Staff Writer
A second Philadelphia judge pleaded guilty to federal charges Thursday in a case-fixing scandal that has roiled Municipal Court for five years. Judge Joseph J. O'Neill admitted he lied to FBI agents who were investigating special treatment he gave to a Democratic Party fund-raiser in a small-claims case in 2011. His plea came two years after another judge and the fund-raiser at the heart of the case pleaded guilty to counts of fraud. Two other judges also have been accused of ethical violations and suspended from the bench but have not been criminally charged.
NEWS
May 28, 2016 | By Jonathan Lai, Staff Writer
New Jersey higher-education grants totaling about $11 million to Beth Medrash Govoha yeshiva and Princeton Theology Seminary are unconstitutional, a panel of state appellate judges ruled Thursday. The American Civil Liberties Union led a lawsuit filed in June 2013 against Rochelle Hendricks, the state secretary of higher education, and Andrew P. Sidamon-Eristoff, then the state treasurer. The ACLU says the grants of $10.6 million to the yeshiva and $645,000 to the seminary were unconstitutional because of the schools' religious nature.
NEWS
May 25, 2016 | By Laura McCrystal and Jeremy Roebuck, STAFF WRITERS
Bill Cosby's sexual-assault case will proceed on a path toward trial as scheduled, after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Monday rejected his latest attempt to delay it. In a one-line order, the court denied Cosby's request for a stay while it reviewed the charges against him. The ruling removes the last potential roadblock to Tuesday morning's preliminary hearing in Montgomery County Court in Norristown. Cosby's lawyers had asked the Supreme Court to put that proceeding on hold as he sought a rare pretrial appeal.
NEWS
May 25, 2016 | By David O'Reilly, Staff Writer
The New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division will hear arguments June 6 on whether municipalities have an obligation to zone for affordable-housing units that they did not allow between 1999 and 2015. A panel of judges is scheduled to convene that day at the Old Courthouse in Mount Holly, built in 1794 and modeled on Congress Hall in Philadelphia. A ruling could affect by tens of thousands the number of affordable-housing units the state's 565 municipalities must zone for in the decade ahead under the state Supreme Court's Mount Laurel rulings.
NEWS
May 19, 2016 | By Walter F. Naedele, Staff Writer
Before and after Anthony M. Lario was a New Jersey Superior Court judge, daughter Lynn Miller said, he was proud of his work as a pro bono lawyer. "I can't tell you how many times there were food items and pastries left on our back steps," Miller said. "Left by people he would help and not charge. " Those clients, she said, were often "a lot of immigrants . . . people he knew could not afford it. " On Sunday, May 15, Judge Lario, 95, of Cherry Hill, a Superior Court judge in Tax Court from 1979 to 1990, died at Methodist Hospital.
NEWS
May 13, 2016 | By Martha Woodall, Staff Writer
HARRISBURG - Did the Philadelphia School Reform Commission have the power to cancel its teachers' contract and impose changes to their health-care plan during a financial crisis in 2014? SRC attorney David H. Pittinsky told the state Supreme Court on Wednesday that the commission has at its disposal "an arsenal of rights that were given by the General Assembly" to reduce expenses, to ensure that students in the city's public schools have the resources for an "adequate" education.
NEWS
May 12, 2016
By Milad Emam For the past six years, Elizabeth Young has been living an American nightmare. Philadelphia police officers showed up at her house and tried to seize her home and car because her son sold $90 worth of marijuana outside her home. Young was never charged with a crime, yet she was soon caught up in Philadelphia's civil-forfeiture machine. With the deck stacked against her, Young went to Philadelphia's criminal justice center and fought to get her property back, arguing that she was an innocent owner because she did not know her son was dealing drugs, having been hospitalized during that time.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 7, 2016 | Staff
Parquet Courts Late last year, Brooklyn's Parquet Courts released Monastic Living , a 33-minute EP of abrasive studio jams. A new album, Human Performance , is its opposite: the punk quartet at its most tuneful and personal. On albums such as 2012's Light Up Gold and 2014's Sunbathing Animal , singers Andrew Savage and Austin Brown declaimed their lyrics, which often railed against complacency or embraced alienation. On the excellent Human Performance , their fifth full-length, the band turns inward, whether for the travelogue "Berlin Got Blurry," the love song "Steady on my Mind" or the disoriented "I Was Just Here" (from bassist Sam Yeaton, who now lives in Philly)
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