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.
March 17, 2016 |
Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin has resigned his seat on the state's highest court, months after being charged with judicial ethics lapses for his involvement in a pornographic email scandal. He is the second top jurist to step down amid revelations that prosecutors, judges, and law enforcement officials for years exchanged pornographic and otherwise offensive emails, often using state computers. "We have lost one of the finest jurists on the court," Eakin's lawyer, William Costopoulos, said at a news conference Tuesday.
March 16, 2016 |
The New Jersey Supreme Court has reprimanded Thomas J. Scattergood, a former municipal judge who served in various Burlington County towns, for downgrading traffic tickets for acquaintances instead of recusing himself, and for making sexist and undignified remarks at several court hearings. The court also barred Scattergood from holding future judicial office, saying in a 30-page presentment last week that his conduct had "undermined the public's confidence . . . in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.
March 7, 2016 |
Not even Vice President Biden, a 36-year Senate veteran and former chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, would be afforded the courtesy of a Senate interview, much less a Judiciary Committee hearing, should President Obama nominate him to fill the seat left vacant by the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Or so I was recently told by Utah's Sen. Orrin Hatch, one of the 11 Republicans on the committee who signed a letter saying they will "withhold consent on any nominee to the Supreme Court submitted by this president to fill Justice Scalia's vacancy.
February 19, 2016 |
Teacher reassignments. Caps on charters. School closings. All those weighty matters could be up in the air in Philadelphia schools, after this week's Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision that stripped the School Reform Commission of extraordinary powers it had believed it had - and had used - under state law. Lawyers and close watchers of the School District were still combing through the 18-page decision Wednesday, determining exactly what...