October 17, 1989
To those who watch these things closely, our state's Supreme Court may be the extreme embarrassment. The six sitting justices on this seven-member body seem to relish the opportunity to fight with each other over matters like patronage, rather than to work together for matters like justice. Every Pennsylvania voter has a chance - indeed an obligation - to watch closely this fall's campaign for that seventh Supreme Court seat. Your vote could well tip the balance of the court away from today's bickering and back- room brawling.
March 29, 1988 |
Given our national penchant of quarter-century recall of newsworthy names, it was no surprise on March 18 to see newspaper commentary on the 25th anniversary of the 1963 U.S. Supreme Court's Gideon decision. An interesting footnote to that case comes from the memory of former Supreme Court Justice Arthur J. Goldberg. In a Law School lecture at The Catholic University of America, Goldberg recently recalled for the student audience the landmark case involving the constitutional rights of Clarence Earl Gideon.
May 2, 1989
Last spring, 1.8 million Pennsylvanians went to the polls to nominate candidates for the Supreme Court. Two weeks from now they'll get to do it all over again, as a result of a decision by the high court to cancel last year's judicial elections. Only one Republican is running this time around, Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Anita B. Brody, the top Republican vote-getter last spring. Three Democrats - two of them contenders from 1988 - are seeking their party's nod. In that primary race, The Inquirer endorses Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Eunice Ross.
March 5, 1987 |
As Kate Harper left the sturdy marble columns, long maroon drapes and mahogany furnishings of the courtroom of the U.S. Supreme Court building Monday morning, she was surrounded by family and friends. Congratulated with hugs, kisses and plaudits such as "nice job" and "way to go," Harper was wearing a smile. She had just finished a 22-minute argument in front of the nine justices of the Supreme Court. "It was exciting," said Harper, 30, a Lower Gwynedd resident and trial lawyer for the firm of Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin & Maxwell in Lansdale.
September 15, 1998 |
The City of Cincinnati today will take its three-year fight to enact spending limits on municipal election campaigns to the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the court to reconsider its landmark 1976 decision that such restrictions abridge free speech. The case represents the first time since that decision, Buckley v. Valeo, was handed down that the court has been asked to address the constitutionality of limiting how much candidates may spend. A petition, to be filed by the National Voting Rights Institute, the Boston-based nonprofit group serving as co-counsel to Cincinnati, argues that much has changed over the 22 years since the court decided the Buckley case.
August 4, 1993 |
The Clinton administration met its paramount goal of enhancing diversity in two respects when Ruth Bader Ginsburg was nominated for the Supreme Court. Not only will the Court now have two female members, but also, for the first time in almost a quarter-century, a Jewish justice will be on the bench. But these differences are superficial. In judicial temperament, attitude and vision, Judge Ginsburg is very much like her prospective colleagues. With the exception of Justice Antonin Scalia, all those on the bench on the first Monday of October will be cautious technicians.
October 30, 1989 |
The Supreme Court today let stand a landmark ruling that barred as unconstitutional mandatory AIDS testing for employees at state facilities for the mentally retarded. At issue was a requirement by a Nebraska state agency that the 400 workers who have close contact with the residents of such facilities be tested for AIDS and hepatitis B, fatal diseases transmitted through blood and semen. The requirement was adopted in 1987 after an employee died of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.
March 23, 1989 |
Three Democratic candidates for the state Supreme Court dropped out of the May 16 primary yesterday, turning up the heat in the already high-stakes race. Those who dropped out were: former state Sen. James R. Kelley of Westmoreland County, Superior Court Judge Patrick Tamilia and former Philadelphia City Solicitor Edward Bauer of Montgomery County. That leaves the Democratic primary to Williamsport lawyer Allen E. Ertel and Allegheny County Common Pleas Court Judges Eunice Ross and Ralph J. Cappy, whose names will appear in that order on the ballot.
May 23, 1988 |
The Supreme Court today let stand the convictions of the leaders and key members of the Colombo mob family in New York for engaging in a wide-ranging criminal enterprise. The justices denied appeals by Carmine Persico, the family's boss; his son Alphonse, a trusted adviser; John DeRoss, Anthony Scarpati, and Andrew Russo, all captains in the crime group; Dominic Cataldo, a soldier in the family; and Hugh McIntosh, an associate. The seven, all of whom are serving long prison terms, were convicted in 1986 of conspiring to conduct a racketeering enterprise that engaged in widespread criminal activity over a long period of time.
January 16, 1988 |
Gov. Casey has nominated Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Juanita Kidd Stout to the state Supreme Court. If confirmed by the state Senate, Stout, 68, would be the first black woman to serve on the court, the state's highest appellate bench. The appointment would make her the second black person and the second woman on that court. Stout said she is "grateful" to Casey for the nomination. "It is somewhat of a shame the year 1988 had to arrive before there was a first black woman named, but I am sure many more will follow," she said.