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NEWS
November 20, 2013 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON Judge Faustino Fernandez-Vina of Camden County won unanimous approval Monday from the New Jersey Senate to serve on the state Supreme Court. The Superior Court assignment judge is to be sworn in Tuesday and will participate in oral arguments later in the morning, court officials said. Fernandez-Vina, who the Christie administration said is a Republican, replaces Republican Helen Hoens on the seven-member court, which has two vacancies. In August, Gov. Christie announced that he would not renominate Hoens amid a battle with the Legislature's majority Democrats over the court's partisan balance, and nominated Fernandez-Vina.
NEWS
November 7, 2013 | By Jan Hefler, Inquirer Staff Writer
A vote to approve a settlement in the Mount Holly housing bias case will not be held this evening as planned, according to a cryptic news release issued by the township council less than four hours before the 7 p.m. meeting. But the meeting has not been canceled and will be held at the Holbein School, 333 Levis Drive. The civil rights case, which is scheduled for a hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 4, involves a group of 30 low-income residents who contend the town's plans to demolish their homes and redevelop the Mount Holly Gardens neighborhood are discriminatory.
NEWS
November 1, 2013 | By Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writer
Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court said Wednesday that if reelected next week, he would push to ban judges from hiring relatives or hearing cases brought by lawyers who have made substantial contributions to their campaigns. In a meeting with the Inquirer Editorial Board, Castille said an overhaul of the state's Code of Judicial Conduct was among his main goals should he win retention. Castille, a Republican, has been on the court for nearly three decades and its chief since 2008.
NEWS
October 17, 2013 | By Rita Giordano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Now it's up to the state Supreme Court to decide whether New Jersey starts permitting same-sex marriage next week. On Tuesday, the lawyers for the couples and their children who brought the lawsuit Garden State Equality v. Dow filed a brief opposing the state's effort to halt the marriages. The state's highest court had announced Friday that it was taking up the Christie administration's appeal of Superior Court Judge Mary C. Jacobson's landmark Sept. 27 decision, as well as her refusal to issue a stay on her order that same-sex marriages be permitted starting Monday.
NEWS
October 13, 2013 | By Rita Giordano, Inquirer Staff Writer
New Jersey's highest court has agreed to hear the Christie administration's appeal of a Superior Court decision to allow same-sex marriage. In the same notice, dated Friday, the Supreme Court indicated that it also was taking over the state's request for a stay on the lower court's order to permit same-sex marriages to begin Oct. 21. Earlier Friday, the state Attorney General's Office filed a motion with Superior Court's Appellate Division to...
NEWS
September 28, 2013 | By Maddie Hanna amd Melanie Burney, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - In a narrow ruling, the New Jersey Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the state to rewrite its rules on how many homes municipalities must provide for lower-income residents, striking down provisions that opponents said allowed wealthy towns to avoid building affordable housing. The long-awaited decision is the latest in a string of rulings in the landmark Mount Laurel case, which dates to the 1970s. The case is considered one of the most important civil rights decisions of modern times.
NEWS
September 22, 2013 | By Ben Finley, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Lancaster County furniture company could get the chance to tell the U.S. Supreme Court why - on religious grounds - it shouldn't have to pay for its employees' birth-control costs. Attorneys for the Mennonite-owned Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. filed a petition this week to argue before the nation's highest court after losing in federal court in Philadelphia. Even if the Supreme Court doesn't pick up Conestoga's case, it still is likely to weigh in on the federal government's contraception mandate, legal experts say. That's because the Obama administration also wants the Supreme Court to settle the matter.
NEWS
September 12, 2013 | By Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writer
Right after Philadelphia Traffic Court Judge Mark A. Bruno was indicted in a federal ticket-fixing probe, the state Supreme Court landed on him hard, suspending him without pay. But then, another judicial oversight organization weighed in. Not so fast, said the state Court of Judicial Discipline. In May, that panel ruled that the federal case against Bruno was weak and ordered his pay - but not his duties - reinstated until his criminal trial. With those rival rulings as a backdrop, a lawyer for the Judicial Conduct Board, the investigative and prosecutorial arm of the judicial court, stood in court Tuesday to argue that the Supreme Court needed to butt out - that it was the job of the conduct board and its judicial court to suspend judges.
NEWS
August 29, 2013 | By Jan Hefler, Inquirer Staff Writer
After Susan Dow learned of her lover's affair, she moved out of the Cinnaminson house they had shared, called him nearly 90 times over the next few days, told his new mistress to leave her man alone, and then returned with a gun, authorities said. Dow was convicted of murdering William "Mike" Seidle, 48, a forklift driver she had been with for six months, after a jury found she had shot him in the chest. The British national was sentenced to 30 years in prison. An appeals panel overturned the verdict this month, citing judicial and prosecutorial missteps, and sent the case back to the lower court for a new trial.
NEWS
August 28, 2013
In the midst of a federal investigation, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has taken a welcome but potentially insufficient step to restore confidence in the judiciary by prohibiting appellate judicial aides from moonlighting as lawyers. The new rule should be seen as a resounding rejection of Lise Rapaport's practice of accepting fees for referring clients to law firms while serving as chief aide to her husband, Supreme Court Justice Seamus P. McCaffery. Some of the eight firms that paid Rapaport have been involved in cases before McCaffery, though there is no evidence that he has ruled on the specific cases for which they paid fees to his wife.
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