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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)
NEWS
June 21, 2014 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - The New Jersey Senate on Thursday confirmed Gov. Christie's two picks to the state Supreme Court, sealing a breakthrough in a years-long impasse over the court's composition. Chief Justice Stuart Rabner was confirmed on a 29-6 vote after months of speculation about whether Christie would renominate him. The Republican governor had criticized Rabner's court as liberal and activist. The Senate also confirmed Lee Solomon, a Haddonfield Republican and state court judge, by a 34-2 vote.
NEWS
June 20, 2014 | By Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writer
Former Pennsylvania State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo has provided another clue about his plans. In a new court filing, Fumo's lawyer asked a federal judge to let the former senator travel without advance approval from his probation officer. That, Dennis J. Cogan said, would make it easier for Fumo to meet with his "many friends, business, and political contacts" in a hunt for business opportunities, including starting a "consulting business. " No further details were provided. Fumo is 71, "in poor health," and needs to find work in light of the "enormous amount" he has spent on legal bills and restitution, Cogan wrote in his filing to U.S. District Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter.
NEWS
June 19, 2014
Proposed Harrisburg legislation that would slash state appellate court seats is an unacceptable attack on Pennsylvanians' access to justice ("Cut in legislature advances," June 4). This would be a huge blow to a court system that's already one of the nation's busiest. The measure would not only hurt victims of crime and defendants waiting for resolution of their cases, but also significantly delay opinions and appeals. The public has a right to be heard on this fundamental issue of access to justice.
NEWS
June 19, 2014 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
A FORMER Philadelphia Traffic Court higher-up acknowledged yesterday that he now considers ticket-fixing to be wrong, but didn't previously because it was part of the everyday culture. "I didn't then" think it was wrong, testified Robert DeEmilio, who had worked as deputy court administrator in Traffic Court. Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Wzorek asked if "there were people who were more equal under the law" - people who received preferential treatment on a traffic ticket because they were connected to the judges.
NEWS
June 18, 2014 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
Commonwealth Court on Monday dismissed a lawsuit by minority investors in SugarHouse Casino seeking to block the reissue of Philadelphia's second casino license. The minority investors, led by Philadelphia lawyer Richard A. Sprague and auto magnate Robert Potamkin, argued in the lawsuit filed last August that the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board had no authority to reissue the license that went to the failed Foxwoods Casino. That license was revoked in December 2010. Sprague said the group would appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, perhaps as soon as this week.
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