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NEWS
December 28, 2014 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
Even as Gov. Christie has slammed the state Supreme Court as too "activist," his administration's inability to establish new affordable-housing rules has raised the prospect that the high court will intervene next year. New Jersey has failed for more than a decade to update its requirements to help municipalities satisfy their constitutional obligation to each provide a fair share of the region's affordable housing to low- and moderate-income residents. After repeated attempts by the Christie administration to fundamentally change that process, the court will hear oral arguments next month in a case brought by affordable-housing advocates, who want the justices to coordinate development of new rules.
BUSINESS
November 28, 2014 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
As his marriage began to crumble in 2010, and his job at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown hung in the balance, Anthony Elonis took to the Internet to vent his frustrations. He posted rap lyrics on Facebook in which he seemingly threatened to kill his wife, an FBI agent, and local police while also suggesting he might attack Dorney Park and even a local elementary school. He was soon arrested, tried, and convicted of making threats over the Internet, and was sentenced to 44 months in prison.
NEWS
October 28, 2014 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
After weeks of turmoil and recrimination, Monday's announcement that Seamus McCaffery would step down from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is an important move toward restoring the credibility of a court badly shaken by internal intrigue and allegations of impropriety. That is the view of many lawyers who practice before the court, who say further infighting would have severely hampered the court's ability to function. Nancy Winkelman, a partner at Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis L.L.P.
NEWS
October 28, 2014 | By Jeff Gammage, Inquirer Staff Writer
Colleagues say Robert Byer practices law with the precision of a diamond-cutter: Disciplined, dispassionate, and led by keen intelligence. "Beyond brilliant," said his college roommate, Philadelphia lawyer Jeffrey Pasek. An appellate expert, Oxford scholar, and former Commonwealth Court judge, lawyer for Ford Motor Co., Columbia Pictures, and Travelers Insurance, he has now been appointed special counsel to the fractured and fractious Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Byer, 62, is the court's attorney, its legal representative and adviser at a chaotic moment when the justices have suspended one of their own, Seamus McCaffery, in an evolving scandal over e-mailed pornography.
NEWS
October 27, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Craig R. McCoy and Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Staff Writers
Seamus P. McCaffery, the embattled Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice caught up in the pornographic e-mail scandal, has resigned from the high court. McCaffery, 64, notified friends and associates Monday. He also sent a two-paragraph letter to Gov. Corbett announcing his intention to retire after 20 years as a judge. "It has all been a great honor and privilege, which I deeply cherish," it said. His resignation followed a weekend of intense and secret negotiations in which McCaffery, a former Philadelphia police officer and municipal court judge, was able to guarantee his government pensions and agreed not to seek another elective office, court sources said.
NEWS
October 22, 2014 | Inquirer Editorial Board
In suspending Justice Seamus McCaffery on Monday and ordering the state's Judicial Conduct Board to conduct an expedited review of allegations against him, his fellow justices took a necessary first step toward restoring a semblance of dignity to the state's highest court. Recent events have made it excruciatingly clear that the Supreme Court is in a state of disarray. With Justice J. Michael Eakin stopping just short of accusing McCaffery of blackmail in an expanding controversy over pornographic messages, the court had little choice but to act quickly to address this corrosive scandal.
NEWS
October 22, 2014 | BY CHRIS BRENNAN, Daily News Staff Writer brennac@phillynews.com, 215-854-5973
IT ALL FINALLY got to be too much for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which yesterday suspended Justice Seamus McCaffery. The other justices tried to stay out of McCaffery's long-running feud with Chief Justice Ron Castille, who must step down at the end of this year because he has reached age 70. The thinking before: Ride it out and the state's highest court will settle down once Castille retires. The thinking now: There is a "compelling and immediate need to protect and preserve the integrity" of the court, three of the seven justices declared in an order.
NEWS
October 18, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck and Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Staff Writers
Breaking weeks of silence, Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus P. McCaffery apologized Thursday for sending sexually explicit e-mails to state employees, then blasted the high court rival he said used the "cooked-up controversy" to carry out a "vindictive pattern of attacks" against him. In a statement, the 64-year-old jurist unloaded on Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille for exposing the racy correspondence, which McCaffery called private and...
NEWS
October 16, 2014
SO NOW WE HAVE a new battle on the state's highest court, this one part of an ongoing fight from the streets of Philadelphia. Former Philly district attorney, Supreme Court Chief Justice Ron Castille, and former Philly cop and "Eagles Court" judge, Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery, have expanded their longtime animus over style, clout and general manliness to, well, porn. Castille, who isn't talking, is said to be considering what if any action to recommend regarding the embarrassment of McCaffery, who isn't talking, getting caught in the headline-grabbing story of state officials sharing porn emails.
NEWS
October 8, 2014 | By Michaelle Bond and Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writers
Gay-rights advocates in Pennsylvania and throughout the country say they are encouraged by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision Monday not to take on five pending same-sex marriage appeals. The denial effectively legalized same-sex marriage in five states - Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin - and cleared the way for legalization in six others. Some advocates in the Philadelphia area viewed the court's action as a sign that nationwide legalization is just a matter of time.
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