June 28, 2016 |
Update from the Associated Press: The Supreme Court has struck down Texas' widely replicated regulation of abortion clinics in the court's biggest abortion case in nearly a quarter century. The original column continues below: KERMIT Gosnell's ears must be burning. For months, his name has been dropped again and again by anti-choice advocates in Texas who are invoking Gosnell to justify restrictions that have made it harder than ever for women to exercise their legal right to an abortion.
June 25, 2016 |
Thursday was a bad day for undocumented immigrants, among them Carlos Rojas. In the two decades since he illegally entered the United States from Mexico, Rojas, 44, has made a decent life for himself in South Philadelphia, working as a pastry chef and raising a family - while putting the ever-present possibility of deportation as far from his thoughts as he could. He found hope in a 2014 executive action by President Obama that would have protected him, as the parent of an American-born child, from being sent back to his homeland.
June 25, 2016 |
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday affirmed a Texas university's use of race in admissions, drawing praise from civil rights groups, which heralded the decision as a major victory for affirmative action. By a 4-3 vote, the court upheld the University of Texas at Austin's argument that it needed to consider race to ensure diversity of its student body and that it had exhausted other means of achieving that goal. The ruling came as a surprise to some experts, who had expected the court to rule in favor of Abigail Fisher, a white student who was denied admission in 2008.
June 23, 2016 |
THIS WEEK, in Utah v. Strieff, the U.S. Supreme Court voted, 5-3, that drugs found as the result of an illegal stop could be used against a defendant at trial. It is a ruling that could be used to rationalize illegal police activity in the pursuit of so-called justice. It is a ruling that could serve as the backdrop for the creation of a veritable police state. But more than that, the ruling and the response to it serve as a poignant illustration of the strength of diversity, the power of principle and the importance of dissent.
June 22, 2016 |
HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Monday declined to reinstate a law that gave groups like the National Rifle Association the right to challenge local gun-control rules in court. Commonwealth Court overturned the law last year on the ground that the legislative process used to make it had violated the state constitution. The gun provision had been added to a bill that addressed the theft of metals. The Supreme Court agreed "that the legislature violated the single-subject rule in an effort to pass an unpopular and irrational bill without being noticed," said Sen. Daylin Leach (D., Montgomery)
June 20, 2016 |
Mayor Kenney might have persuaded City Council to support a tax on sweetened beverages. But in the end what could matter most is if his lawyers can persuade the courts. Minutes after Council passed the unprecedented per-ounce levy Thursday, the beverage industry vowed to continue a fight it has already poured more than $5 million into by filing suit. Kenney wasn't rattled. "We're ready," he said. But a particularly qualified voice says Kenney shouldn't be so confident. Former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald Castille has called the tax unconstitutional.
June 18, 2016 |
Call it a coincidence. Gov. Wolf, who supports merit selection for Pennsylvania's statewide appellate courts, nominated Superior Court Judge Sallie Updyke Mundy, a Republican, to fill a vacancy on the state Supreme Court on Monday. That will likely generate political goodwill for the Democratic governor as he closes in on a state budget with the Republican-controlled legislature. But Wolf appears to have ignored a list of judges, screened by his own blue-ribbon panel and ranked by merit, in making the nomination.
June 18, 2016 |
It wasn't until Bonnie Bishop gave up on her dream that it came true. The Texas native had spent 12 years scuffling as an independent singer-songwriter without making much headway, even after having two of her songs recorded by Bonnie Raitt and another performed on the prime-time TV soap Nashville . It got to the point where she couldn't even afford Christmas presents for her family. So she retreated to her parents' home in the Lone Star State to regroup. "I couldn't keep doing it the way I was doing it," the 37-year-old says over the phone from Nashville.
June 17, 2016 |
A $1 million sanction imposed on insurance defense lawyer Nancy Raynor because her witness gave precluded testimony in a medical-malpractice trial has been overturned by a Pennsylvania appellate court. The Superior Court panel found that the instructions of Common Pleas Court Judge Paul Panepinto were vague and left open the possibility that the testimony was permissible. The $1 million sanction, imposed on Raynor after a 2012 trial, caused an uproar in the Philadelphia bar, with many lawyers arguing that the fine was excessive and that it exposed lawyers to punishing sanctions for conduct by witnesses beyond their control.
June 15, 2016 |
With a pilot shortage looming for U.S. airlines, three subsidiaries of American Airlines announced Monday that they will offer $15,000 signing bonuses to newly minted pilots. Envoy Air (formerly American Eagle), Piedmont and PSA Airlines, which operate short-haul or "express" flights for American, are offering signing bonuses to lure new aviators at a time many senior pilots are near the mandatory retirement age of 65, and it's become harder to be a pilot. New federal pilot-rest rules and tougher qualification standards since 2013 require commercial co-pilots, or first officers, to have 1,500 hours of minimum flight experience, up from 250. Fewer young people are opting for cockpit jobs because of the cost of training and low entry pay – $22,500 to $26,000 to start at the regional airlines, which operate half the nation's scheduled flights.