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NEWS
October 31, 2015 | By Julia Terruso and Chris Palmer, Inquirer Staff Writers
Philadelphia's 12 Democratic members of City Council endorsed Common Pleas Court Judge Kevin Dougherty for the state Supreme Court on Thursday, The event was a final push to drum up interest in one of the most competitive races in an election that could see dismal turnout numbers. The judge thanked the Council members and quoted Maya Angelou, saying, "'I'm sustained by the love of family,' but when I look around this room and I see the people who are standing behind me, I can share with you that Philadelphia truly is the city that loves you back.
NEWS
October 26, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
Three hundred eleven years ago, the last time Pennsylvania's highest court had three vacancies, their replacements were up to the royal governor and, by extension, the queen. The three court vacancies to be filled on Nov. 3, two of them due to scandal, don't reflect the best work of the democracy that determines the composition of today's state Supreme Court. Dramatic reform, not to say another revolution, is in order. Fortunately, Pennsylvanians have the power to reshape the court this time, as well as a field of promising candidates to do so. How to retrieve a high court from a low point?
NEWS
October 26, 2015 | By Chris Palmer, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - The low-wattage contest for Pennsylvania's Supreme Court got a few jolts of energy last week, thanks to a blitz of television ads and the release of pornographic emails tied to a sitting justice. Probably not what the seven candidates envisioned when they launched their campaigns. After all, their race is the only one nationwide this year for a state's high court. And it's the first time since a British monarch ruled the state that three of the court's seven seats are simultaneously up for grabs - meaning either party could secure a majority on a bench tasked with interpreting far-reaching laws.
NEWS
October 23, 2015 | By Angela Couloumbis and Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writers
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane says she will make public offensive emails of state Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin to prove her contention that his misconduct was overlooked by the high court and the state Judicial Conduct Board. In a sharp letter to the Supreme Court, Kane lambasted the ethics board for its assertion that Eakin's messages were only "mildly pornographic. " The public, Kane wrote, "upon viewing these emails in their totality, will see them for what they are: offensive.
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.
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