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NEWS
October 21, 2015 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Staff Writer
HARRISBURG - A longtime Harrisburg activist is petitioning the state's highest court to force the governor and the Republican-controlled Senate to remove embattled Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane from office. Gene Stilp said he would file a petition with the state Supreme Court because the suspension of Kane's law license was to take effect this week. Without a license, Kane will no longer be able to make key legal decisions as the state's top law enforcement officer.
NEWS
October 17, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
Cleaning up the apparently bottomless digital landfill of pornographic and bigoted email traded among judges and prosecutors would be a job for Pennsylvania's top law enforcement agency and highest court - if both weren't so intimately involved and implicated. Take the increasingly sordid case of state Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin, who this week apologized for, as he delicately put it, "insensitive" emails detailed in the Daily News and turned over to the court and Judicial Conduct Board.
NEWS
September 23, 2015 | By Angela Couloumbis and Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writers
HARRISBURG - In an unprecedented move, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Monday suspended the law license of Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane, a step that could increase the chances that the legislature will try to remove her from office. The high court's decision was unanimous, endorsed by the court's three Republicans and two Democrats. Lawyers for the state disciplinary board that oversees lawyers sought the suspension after Kane was charged last month with perjury, obstruction, and other offenses stemming from allegations that she illegally leaked grand jury material and then lied about it under oath.
NEWS
September 12, 2015 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Gov. Wolf calls his moratorium on Pennsylvania executions appropriate while he awaits a task force report about what he says is "a flawed system that has been proven to be . . . ineffective, unjust, and expensive. " District Attorney Seth Williams, county prosecutors, and legislative leaders counter that Wolf's position "usurps judicial review of criminal judgments, and is in direct violation of his duty to faithfully execute Pennsylvania law. " Resolving the debate is now up to the state Supreme Court, which on Thursday heard oral arguments on the constitutional challenge to Wolf's seven-month-old ban on the state's ultimate penalty, which was last used in 1999.
NEWS
September 9, 2015 | By Jason Laughlin, Inquirer Staff Writer
In a historic election campaign, more than $1.3 million in union cash has gone to state Supreme Court candidates this year, a sum labor leaders say underscores a siege mentality that has them looking to the courts as a bulwark against the enemies of organized labor. "They're looking and digging for ways to get rid of unions," Pat Eiding, president of the Philadelphia AFL-CIO, said of some state legislators. From liquor-store privatization and pension changes to challenges to laws that set a minimum wage for public contracts and allow unions to negotiate contracts in private, unions fear a rise of proposals that would weaken them.
NEWS
August 30, 2015 | By Angela Couloumbis and Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writers
In a move that could force Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane from office, the Disciplinary Board of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has notified her that it is seeking to suspend her law license, according to sources familiar with the matter. "I can't talk to you about it because anything I say can be held against me," Kane said Friday. Kane, 49, was charged this month with perjury, conspiracy, official oppression, and other crimes. Prosecutors say she illegally leaked confidential documents to a reporter in a bid to embarrass a critic, then lied about it under oath.
NEWS
August 22, 2015 | By Barbara Boyer, Inquirer Staff Writer
A New Jersey woman charged with neglect after she left her toddler sleeping in a car during a 10-minute shopping trip should be given a hearing to determine whether she belongs on a registry of neglectful and abusive parents, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday. The unanimous decision by the seven-member court does not dispute that the mother should have exercised better judgment when leaving her child, but the high court overturned an appellate court decision that denied the mother's request for a hearing.
NEWS
August 20, 2015 | By Angela Couloumbis and Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writers
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane has said her legal problems stem from an attempt by enemies to block her from exposing their exchange of pornographic emails on state computers. But newly unsealed documents show that Kane was told nearly nine months ago by the state's highest court that she was not restricted from publicly releasing information about the messages. On Tuesday, the state Supreme Court unsealed two orders, both from last December, in which the justices ruled that Kane was not barred from "appropriate" disclosure of the pornographic images.
NEWS
August 14, 2015 | BY REGINA MEDINA, Daily News Staff Writer medinar@phillynews.com, 215-854-5985
THE SUPREME COURT of Pennsylvania will hear an appeal from the school district and the School Reform Commission related to the cancellation of the teachers' contract, according to an order issued by the court earlier this week. The judges will address the issue of whether certain sections of state law "authorized the School Reform Commission and the School District of Philadelphia to cancel their collective bargaining agreement with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and impose new economic terms," according to the order.
NEWS
August 14, 2015 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Pennsylvania's highest court will decide whether the Philadelphia School Reform Commission can cancel its teachers' contract. Had the Supreme Court declined to take the case, the SRC's move in October 2014 to cancel its contract with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT) would have been voided. The Supreme Court, however, through an order issued Monday, essentially gave the district another shot at achieving by fiat what it has been unable to get at the bargaining table. In January, Commonwealth Court sided with the union, putting aside the SRC's unilateral cancellation of the contract and changes it had imposed on the members' health-care plan.
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