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NEWS
June 4, 2015 | By Chris Palmer, Inquirer Staff Writer
Jim Thorpe's sons asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to overturn a ruling that prevents them from moving the great American Indian athlete's remains from the Pennsylvania town that bears his name to the Oklahoma tribal lands where he was born. In a 128-page filing, William Thorpe and Richard Thorpe, as well as the Sac and Fox Nation of Oklahoma, argued that a Philadelphia-based appeals court last year wrongly interpreted a law designed to protect the remains of American Indians.
NEWS
June 3, 2015 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
In a closely watched case testing the limits of free speech, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday overturned the Philadelphia federal court conviction in 2011 of an Allentown-area man for threatening on his Facebook page to kill his estranged wife and an FBI agent. The case has drawn national attention, in part because of its potential to define how the government can prosecute violent statements made on social media and on the Internet. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said prosecutors must show that defendants knowingly intended in their threatening statements to issue a real threat in order to secure a conviction.
NEWS
June 2, 2015 | By Jason Laughlin, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Wisconsin ad said a Supreme Court hopeful had protected a priest accused of sex abuse. An Alabama mailing portrayed a high-court candidate there as a marionette with his strings pulled by President Obama, dressed like Marlon Brando in The Godfather . A Michigan TV ad asked "How could you?" because a Supreme Court candidate once aided a Guantanamo Bay detainee's defense. Could these be a preview of Pennsylvania's Supreme Court race? Each attack was funded not by a rival candidate, but by outside conservative and progressive groups that increasingly see judicial races as a fertile ideological battleground.
NEWS
May 22, 2015 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
A LAWSUIT ACCUSING the state of failing to adequately and equitably fund education is headed to the state Supreme Court. The plaintiffs, which include six school districts and two statewide organizations, filed an appeal yesterday challenging a Commonwealth Court decision last month to dismiss the suit, claiming that school funding is a function of the Legislature, and therefore not a matter for the courts. "Our Supreme Court bears the responsibility for ensuring that our most precious constitutional rights are protected.
NEWS
May 21, 2015 | BY WILLIAM BENDER, Daily News Staff Writer benderw@phillynews.com, 215-854-5255
YEAH, WE KNOW you haven't been following the Common Pleas and Municipal Court races, so we'll keep this brief. A bunch of Philadelphia lawyers whom you've probably never heard of were nominated yesterday to 15 judgeships based on a combination of ballot position, hefty payoffs to Democratic operatives and, perhaps, the ethnicities of their last names. History has shown that many of these lawyers will nonetheless become good judges, while others may fall short - or worse, like get arrested.
NEWS
May 21, 2015 | By Jason Laughlin, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia Judge Kevin Dougherty and Anne Covey, from Bucks County, were among six candidates who won the right Tuesday to vie for three open seats on the state Supreme Court. "I'd like to believe that my message of being the advocate for the marginalized, the at risk, the working poor . . . " Dougherty said Tuesday night, "resonated throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. " Along with Dougherty, the Democratic nominees for the high court are Allegheny County's David Wecht and Christine Donohue, both Superior Court judges.
NEWS
May 19, 2015
TIME FOR a threesome - electorally. You need to vote three times for state Supreme Court. It's important. And even though there are six candidates from each party, there are some ways to sort them out. So you need to try, 'cause you need to vote three times for state Supreme Court. I know, I know: Why would you? You don't know the candidates. We shouldn't be voting for statewide judges. I get that. And I agree. We shouldn't be voting for statewide judges. But, see, we are. So let's do so with at least a modicum of info.
NEWS
May 16, 2015 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
The $15 minimum wage movement received a boost Thursday when a member of City Council introduced a bill to put the issue before Philadelphia voters in November. The measure, if approved by Council and Mayor Nutter and passed by voters, is nonbinding: It only calls on city and state officials to pass a $15 minimum wage. But advocates say it would gauge support, place pressure on Harrisburg, and lay groundwork for a court battle should the city challenge the presumption that only the state can set a minimum wage.
NEWS
May 15, 2015 | By Jason Laughlin, Inquirer Staff Writer
Voters may know the names of three candidates for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, but probably not as famed jurists. Dwayne Woodruff was a Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback for 13 years. Kevin Dougherty's brother is union leader and Philadelphia political player John "Johnny Doc" Dougherty. David Wecht is the son of forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht, renowned for investigations into the deaths of Elvis Presley and JonBenet Ramsey. In Tuesday's primary, the name may be the thing that gets them votes.
NEWS
May 7, 2015
TODAY, LET'S think about possibility. Specifically, the possibility our state Supreme Court upholds the Constitution more often than when the mood strikes it to do so. I mention this because of a record three vacancies on the seven-member court to be filled by election this year, and because, you know, one can always hope. Let's concede that law can be a malleable thing, subject to circumstance and politics. In this state it's massaged into various shapes, sometimes avoiding constitutional dictates.
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