September 18, 2016 |
HARRISBURG - A controversial ballot question about when state judges must retire will appear on the November ballot. For now. The Supreme Court on Friday denied a request to keep alive a challenge to the wording of a referendum to determine how long judges can serve. At issue was a change to the ballot question this past spring by the Republican-controlled legislature. The initial language - which already had been printed on primary ballots - asked voters if they would approve raising the mandatory retirement age for judges from 70 to 75. But weeks before the primary, the legislature moved to change the question language and delay the referendum until November.
September 15, 2016 |
Some Pennsylvania schools have cutting-edge facilities. Others have no textbooks. The state's education-funding system is so fundamentally flawed that a judicial remedy is needed, parents, school districts, and advocacy groups told the state's highest court Tuesday. Leaving school-funding decisions to Pennsylvania's legislature has resulted in gross inequalities, said Brad Elias, a lawyer for the plaintiffs. "This is unconscionable," Elias said. "It's so far out of the range of reasonableness.
September 10, 2016 |
New Jersey's Supreme Court said Thursday that it would hear a challenge that will decide whether municipalities now must zone for the affordable housing units they did not zone for between 1999 and 2015. The court announced it had accepted an appeal by the Fair Share Housing Center, an advocacy group that is seeking to overturn a July 12 ruling by the Appellate Division. The three-judge panel ruled unanimously that municipalities have no obligation to zone for units not created during the nearly 16-year "gap period," when the state failed to devise an acceptable formula for calculating each town's obligation.
August 25, 2016 |
The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a Voorhees man, seriously injured in 2010 while trying to surf on a wave machine at a water park, can proceed with a gross-negligence lawsuit. Roy Steinberg, 52, filed a civil lawsuit against Sahara Sam's Oasis in Berlin, Camden County, saying workers failed to instruct him properly about how to surf safely on the FlowRider, and that the park did not adequately warn him about the risk of serious injury on the machine, which simulates ocean waves.
August 3, 2016 |
Pennsylvania's Supreme Court on Monday rejected a bid by two high-ranking GOP lawmakers to intervene in a legal battle over the retirement age of judges. With no explanation, the court denied the motion by Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati (R., Jefferson) and Majority Leader Jake Corman (R., Centre). The ruling put the Republican leaders on the sideline of a closely watched battle that has erupted into a forefront issue for some of the state's top officials. At stake is a question to voters on the November ballot that would raise the mandatory retirement age for judges from 70 to 75 - a decision that could alter the partisan makeup of the Keystone State's highest court within the next year.
July 29, 2016
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has rightly agreed to hear a challenge to a dubious rewording of a rejected ballot question. The question concerns whether the mandatory retirement age for judges should be raised from 70 to 75, which would extend the tenure of the high court's lone Republican, 69-year-old Thomas Saylor. Voters declined to do so in April. But GOP legislators had the result ruled moot and scheduled a revised question for November. The edited version mentions only the proposed mandatory retirement age, not the existing one. It thereby suggests that voters are being asked to limit rather than extend judges' tenures.
July 29, 2016 |
In a highly unusual move Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed to hear on an emergency basis a lawsuit filed last week by two retired Supreme Court justices and a prominent Philadelphia lawyer challenging the wording of the ballot question on the state's judicial retirement age. The three-paragraph order gave Pedro Cortes, Pennsylvania's top election official, until next Wednesday to respond, and it promised to hear expedited arguments....
July 22, 2016 |
It was 3 a.m. on a November Sunday, and the car had just turned left onto Adams Street in Newark, N.J. Al-Sharif Scriven was in the front passenger seat, a .40 caliber handgun under his jacket, with hollow-nose bullets and a large-capacity magazine stowed elsewhere in the car. It was nothing about Scriven or the others in the car, but rather that the car's high beams were on that caught the eye of David Cohen, an Essex County sheriff's officer, who...
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.