FEATURED ARTICLES
NEWS
April 20, 2000 | By Rich Henson, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The state Supreme Court has barred a Montgomery County judge from hearing the custody dispute involving a mother who fled the country with her two children and the millionaire father who searched the world to bring them home. The high court issued the order last week in response to a petition filed on behalf of the mother, Ellen Dever, by her attorneys, Richard A. Sprague and William H. Lamb. The justices, who did not state a reason for removing Judge Rhonda Lee Daniele, also barred any other Montgomery County judges from the case.
NEWS
September 7, 1995 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A federal judge has ordered a new trial for a man serving life for a notorious robbery and murder 24 years ago, ruling that the city prosecutor purposely excluded African Americans from the jury that convicted him. In a one-paragraph order Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Marvin Katz wrote that the District Attorney's Office must retry Edward Sistrunk within 90 days or set him free. Donna Zucker, chief of the district attorney's federal appeals unit, said Katz's ruling would be appealed to the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
NEWS
June 28, 2011 | By Jesse J. Holland, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - States cannot ban the sale or rental of ultraviolent video games to children, the Supreme Court ruled, 7-2, Monday, rejecting such limits as a violation of young people's First Amendment rights and leaving it to parents and the multibillion-dollar gaming industry to decide what children can buy. The high court threw out California's 2005 law covering games sold or rented to those under 18, calling it an unconstitutional violation of...
NEWS
November 10, 2001 | By Barbara Boyer INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court handed convicted murderer and onetime counterculture guru Ira Einhorn a legal defeat yesterday when justices denied, without comment, his request that the high court seize control of his legal odyssey. The decision clears the way for Einhorn, who was convicted in absentia in 1993, to seek a new trial in Common Pleas Court. On Wednesday, Common Pleas Court Judge D. Webster Keogh is scheduled to rule on Einhorn's request for a new trial in the 1977 death of his onetime girlfriend Holly Maddux.
NEWS
November 18, 1986 | Daily News Wire Services
The Supreme Court yesterday agreed to examine the rights of hundreds of thousands of Japanese-Americans forced into mass detention camps during World War II. The case is the first of a series now pending in which Japanese-Americans seek monetary damages for the internment, which was ordered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and defended as a military necessity. Specifically, the high court agreed to review a request by the Reagan administration to block a 1983 lawsuit from coming to trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
NEWS
May 27, 2009 | By Jim Newton
Is empathy a desirable quality in a U.S. Supreme Court justice? President Obama said he was searching for it. But as a qualification for a jurist, it gives conservatives the willies and can produce mixed results. We expect judges to resist empathy and impose the law evenhandedly. We are appropriately outraged when a judge goes easy on a defendant with whom he identifies - the suburban white kid, say, who gets community service, whereas his urban black counterpart goes off to jail.
NEWS
June 25, 2000 | By Chris Mondics, INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
Anyone seeking evidence of the potential impact of the presidential race on the Supreme Court and its handling of controversial social and religious issues need look no further than its decision Monday banning student-led prayers at public school sporting events. The court split along what have become predictable lines, with Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Anthony Kennedy, two conservative swing votes, joining the court's liberal-to-moderate bloc in voting to ban the prayers. But court experts say that with as many as four justices approaching the age at which they may step down, the next president has the potential to reshape the court for years to come.
NEWS
May 6, 2011 | By Robert Moran, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The state Supreme Court has removed a Philadelphia judge from a death-penalty case for altering a transcript to remove a disparaging remark she made about the defendant. In a concurring statement with the high court's April 28 order, Justice Max Baer declared the admitted actions of Common Please Court Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes "reprehensible. " Hughes, 55, already is scheduled to retire and is set to become the chief executive officer of the Southeastern Pennsylvania chapter of the American Red Cross on May 16. In a statement issued Friday evening, chapter chairman Michael Coslov said that the high court's decision "in no way will affect Judge Hughes' ability to be a strong, effective leader for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Red Cross, nor her ability to help those in need.
NEWS
December 2, 1986 | Daily News Wire Services
The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday refused to block the deportation of a Long Island man who has been sentenced to death in the Soviet Union for collaborating with the Nazis during World War II. In another case, a proposed settlement involving Lukens Steel in Chester County, Pa., may nullify the court's agreement to search for racial segregation. Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark had urged the court to review the case of Estonian-born Karl Linnas, one of the first targets of the Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations.
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NEWS
March 19, 2015 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
FREEHOLD, N.J. - Gov. Christie said Tuesday that Democratic lawmakers will block him from filling a lingering vacancy on the New Jersey Supreme Court for the rest of his time as governor, which he said impedes his ability to tamp down property taxes by changing funding mandates for school districts with poor students. At a town hall-style meeting, the Republican governor described his fight over a school-funding formula that the Supreme Court has upheld as the biggest frustration of his tenure.
NEWS
March 13, 2015 | By Maria Panaritis and Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writers
Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane said she was "cautiously hopeful," and answered virtually no other questions. Then, Pennsylvania's first female attorney general took a long, slow walk out of City Hall on Wednesday, surrounded by a swarm of reporters and cameras. Kane, the first elected Democrat to hold the second-most-powerful statewide office, had just emerged from a back row in a Supreme Court courtroom, where she listened as lawyers presented oral arguments in a case whose outcome could spare her from, or condemn her to, criminal prosecution.
NEWS
March 5, 2015 | By Jason Laughlin, Inquirer Staff Writer
A man on death row will not be executed Wednesday, after the state's highest court denied the Philadelphia district attorney's request to an expedited decision on a petition seeking to overturn Gov. Wolf's temporary reprieve. Terry Williams, 48, was sentenced to die in 1984 for the killing of Amos Norwood, a 56-year-old Germantown church volunteer. In February, Wolf issued a temporary reprieve on all executions, saying he wanted to see the results of a long-delayed report on the state's death penalty first.
NEWS
March 5, 2015 | By Jan Hefler, Inquirer Staff Writer
Last summer, the New Jersey Supreme Court ordered a new trial for Vonte Skinner, saying the admission of rap lyrics he had written before he was arrested on charges of attempted murder prejudiced the jury in his earlier trial. On Tuesday, as his new trial was about to commence, Skinner raised yet another legal issue, telling a judge he wanted to dismiss his lawyer and defend himself. "I'm not going to continue to get railroaded," Skinner angrily told Superior Court Judge Jeanne T. Covert in Mount Holly a few minutes before a jury was to be selected.
NEWS
February 25, 2015 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
THE SCHOOL Reform Commission and the Philadelphia School District yesterday appealed to the state Supreme Court on a ruling that blocks changes to teachers' health-care benefits. On Jan. 22, a panel of five Commonwealth Court judges had rejected the SRC's argument that provisions in the School Code give it the power to impose terms. The SRC and the district insist that during periods of fiscal distress, the SRC has the authority to identify savings in labor contracts and redirect those resources to schools.
NEWS
February 25, 2015 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - A Centre County judge tapped by Gov. Wolf to fill a state Supreme Court vacancy is withdrawing his nomination after coming under fire last week for an e-mail that some claimed was racially insensitive. Judge Thomas K. Kistler, the president judge in Centre County since 2012, confirmed Monday he is removing his name from consideration. In a statement, Kistler made no mention of the e-mail or the furor surrounding it. Instead, he said that "several circumstances have developed here, at home, in Centre County, which have dramatically altered the legal system and require my full attention.
NEWS
February 19, 2015 | By Craig R. McCoy and Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Staff Writers
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is angry that the leak case before it has sprung yet another leak. The high court has asked the agency that oversees lawyers to consider disciplining Lanny J. Davis, one of state Attorney General Kathleen Kane's lawyers, for making public a sealed order from the high court last month. "This is some definition of leak, " Davis said. "I did it on the record, during a press conference, with all of the media. " Davis gave reporters a copy of the court's Jan. 21 order that blocked a Montgomery County prosecutor from bringing criminal charges against Kane.
NEWS
February 6, 2015 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - Gov. Wolf on Wednesday tapped a bipartisan duo - a law school dean and a central Pennsylvania county judge - to fill vacancies on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Wolf said he would nominate Ken Gormley, dean and professor at the Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh, and Thomas Kistler, president judge of Centre County Court, to the bench. "I am pleased today to announce two extremely qualified and distinguished individuals as my nominees to serve on the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, the highest court in the commonwealth," Wolf said.
NEWS
January 24, 2015 | By Angela Couloumbis and Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writers
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane has won a state Supreme Court order barring a district attorney from bringing criminal charges against her until the high court rules on her challenge to the legal status of the special prosecutor who built the case against her. The court announced the freeze Thursday. The hold on any action by Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman will last six weeks or more. The Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for March 11 in Philadelphia on Kane's challenge.
NEWS
January 22, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - The New Jersey Supreme Court on Wednesday adopted a new ethics standard for judges, as it ruled that two lower-court jurists who dined with a longtime friend who had been indicted had compromised judicial integrity by creating an appearance of partiality. The high court did not impose sanctions on the two, but made clear that going forward, such behavior would face punishment. The judges had argued that the earlier standard used to evaluate their conduct was too subjective.
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