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 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 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.
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.
April 27, 2016 |
TRENTON - The state Senate on Monday confirmed Walter Timpone as a justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, resolving a political standoff that had lasted for most of Gov. Christie's tenure. The Senate voted 33-1, a sign of bipartisanship that stood in stark contrast to the contentious and at times ugly yearslong fight between Christie, a Republican, and Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester) over the ideological composition of the court. With the appointment of Timpone, a Democrat, each justice on the seven-member court has now been confirmed by the Senate, as envisioned by the state constitution.
April 18, 2016 |
When the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Monday in the nation's most closely watched immigration lawsuit, Libia Rodriguez will be among the expected thousands of demonstrators at the court's white marble steps. The case, United States v. Texas , could be a life-changer for Rodriguez, 31, an undocumented Mexican immigrant who lives in Coatesville with her husband, also here illegally, and their three U.S.-born children. Depending on the justices' ruling, the couple could put aside their worries of being sent back to Mexico.
March 30, 2016
Pennsylvania's Court of Judicial Discipline noted last week that the profane and bigoted emails that finally forced state Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin to resign were marked by "arrogance and the belief that an individual is better than his or her peers. " Ironically, the court pointed this out in the course of a ruling that allowed Eakin to escape a public accounting of his misdeeds and perhaps additional penalties at trial. The unmistakable impression is that Pennsylvania's entire judiciary suffers from an arrogance that prevents it from subjecting its own to the sort of unflinching judgment it imposes on others.
March 26, 2016 |
A Pennsylvania judicial tribunal on Thursday found disgraced former Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin guilty of ethical misconduct for his exchange of offensive emails and fined him $50,000, but allowed him to keep his $153,000 annual pension. The six members of the Court of Judicial Discipline unanimously found that Eakin, by exchanging in "insensitive" sexually oriented and otherwise troubling emails on government computers, had undermined public confidence in the judiciary.
March 23, 2016
ISSUE | SUPREME COURT Defer to voter dissatisfaction Since virtually the entire country is dissatisfied with the way our federal government is being run and wants change, confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's replacement should be postponed until immediately after the November elections to give voters a chance to express their will and have it acted upon. That said, President Obama acted correctly in making his nomination - it was his duty. Until the elections, Judge Merrick Garland's nomination can be discussed.