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NEWS
July 2, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a blow to the Obama administration's signature health care law Monday, ruling that employers with religious objections can refuse to pay for their employees' contraception in twin cases brought by a Lancaster County cabinet manufacturer and one of the nation's largest craft supply chains. In their 5-4 decision, the justices recognized for the first time that for-profit business - such as Conestoga Wood Specialties, owned by a Mennonite family in East Earl, and Oklahoma-based Hobby Lobby - can exercise religious views derived from their owners.
NEWS
June 28, 2014 | By Martha Woodall and Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writers
In what the Philadelphia teachers' union hailed as a major victory, the state Supreme Court said Thursday that it would not get involved in whether the School Reform Commission has the authority to bypass seniority and impose other work rule changes. In the spring, the commission asked the state's top court to declare that it had the power under the state takeover law to impose the changes, including disregarding seniority for teacher assignments, transfers, layoffs and recalls. The 11,000-member Philadelphia Federation of Teachers opposed the SRC's moves.
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.
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 18, 2014 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - The Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday approved Gov. Christie's two nominees - one a Democrat, the other a Republican - to the state Supreme Court, advancing with little dissent a deal brokered by Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester). The deal will likely keep Democratic Chief Justice Stuart Rabner on the court, while adding to the bench Camden County Republican Lee Solomon, a state court judge who has ties to Christie and has been praised by Democrats. The full Senate is expected to decide Thursday on the nominations of Rabner and Solomon, who cleared the Judiciary Committee by votes of 11-2 for Rabner and 12-1 for Solomon.
NEWS
May 29, 2014 | By Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court gave a rare bit of good news Tuesday to the cash-strapped Philadelphia School Reform Commission. The top court unanimously reversed a lower-court ruling that said the school district had illegally capped enrollment at Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter School. The lower court had said the school should be paid $1.3 million from the district for students it had enrolled above the 675 enrollment maximum in its signed agreement. The Supreme Court overturned the lower court, said the charter was bound by the terms of an agreement it had signed with the district in 2005, and was not entitled to the additional money.
NEWS
May 3, 2014 | From Staff and Wire Reports
HARRISBURG Pennsylvania's highest court on Thursday said Gov. Corbett's only Republican challenger will not be listed on the May 20 primary election ballot. The state Supreme Court reversed a lower court in a 5-2 decision, finding that Ardmore businessman Bob Guzzardi's failure to file his statement of financial interests on time with the state Ethics Commission was a "fatal flaw" that disqualified his candidacy. Guzzardi is an outspoken Corbett critic who said he was running to give GOP conservatives an alternative.
NEWS
April 11, 2014 | By Jan Hefler, Inquirer Staff Writer
TRENTON New Jersey Supreme Court justices gave a skeptical hearing Wednesday to a Burlington County prosecutor's argument that violent rap lyrics written by Vonte Skinner four or five years before he shot a man in Willingboro were relevant and admissible at his 2008 trial. Justice Barry T. Albin pointedly asked Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer Paszkiewicz: "I'm asking you, how you can justify taking lyrics four to five years old . . . and somehow show they reveal a motive for a crime that occurs four to five years later?"
NEWS
April 9, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
The U.S. Supreme Court opted not to weigh in Monday on an early challenge, brought by a Philadelphia man and a conservative activist, to the National Security Agency's bulk collection of phone records. Charles Strange of Torresdale and his attorney, Larry Klayman, had asked the justices to bypass the traditional appellate process to hear their case, saying the constitutional questions it raised were too weighty to wait for a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
NEWS
April 4, 2014 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
THE PHILADELPHIA Federation of Teachers asked the state Supreme Court yesterday to toss out a petition from the school district and the School Reform Commission that seeks to eliminate seniority and other work rules, claiming they are bargained privileges. In its response to the district's March 24 filing, the union says the work-rule changes sought by the SRC have long been a part of the collective-bargaining agreement and are subject to the grievance-and-arbitration process, therefore the court has no jurisdiction.
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