October 29, 2013 |
When it comes to crime in the City of Brotherly Love, should public corruption or gun violence be the priority for the District Attorney's Office? As the race for that office nears in the Nov. 5 election, incumbent Seth Williams and Republican challenger Danny Alvarez have sparred over that question. During a recent debate and in interviews, Williams, who ran on a "smart on crime" campaign four years ago, told of his efforts to transform the office's ways by having more diversionary programs and focusing on prosecuting what he sees as the most important cases - those dealing with gun violence.
October 25, 2013
I'M IN THE inner sanctum of the chief, where I am facing the chief - and a dilemma. I oppose a mandatory retirement age for most professions. The problem: Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille is standing for retention next month. He is 69. If retained for a third 10-year term, he'll have to retire after only one year, because he will turn 70 on March 16. The state constitution requires all judges retire by the end of the year in which they hit the Big 7-0. I don't like the mandatory retirement, but I would feel weird retaining Castille to serve one-tenth of his term.
October 23, 2013 |
With a two-sentence letter from his attorney general to the state Supreme Court, Gov. Christie walked off the battlefield of perhaps the most divisive social fight of 2013. But it doesn't mean the war is over. Christie's decision to drop an appeal to the state Supreme Court of a lower court decision allowing gay marriage is packed with political implications both for his reelection effort Nov. 5 and for 2016, when he is expected to be a Republican presidential hopeful. Dropping the appeal may have immediate benefits for Christie with little long-term damage.
October 19, 2013 |
TRENTON The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday unanimously approved Gov. Christie's nomination of Faustino Fernandez-Vina to the New Jersey Supreme Court, though not before grilling the Camden County Superior Court assignment judge on hot-button issues. Democrats pressed Fernandez-Vina on same-sex marriage, abortion, and Supreme Court decisions on affordable housing and school funding, but elicited no opinions from the nominee, who said repeatedly that it would be inappropriate for him to comment on decisions by other judges and that his opinions would have no bearing on how he would decide a case.
October 13, 2013 |
New Jersey's highest court has agreed to hear the Christie administration's appeal of a Superior Court decision to allow same-sex marriage. In the same notice, dated Friday, the Supreme Court indicated that it also was taking over the state's request for a stay on the lower court's order to permit same-sex marriages to begin Oct. 21. Earlier Friday, the state Attorney General's Office filed a motion with Superior Court's Appellate Division to...
October 6, 2013 |
JERRY LEWIS, uh-huh, that Jerry Lewis, the slapstick comic, looks Muhammad Ali right in the eye, and screeches, "You're a big bag of wind. " A startled Ali interrupts, sputtering. Lewis finally yelps, "Shut up and let me finish . . . you're a big bag of wind but you're one of the greatest entertainers . . . " It's just a moment in "The Trials of Muhammad Ali," a lively new documentary being shown at the Ritz at the Bourse. A defining moment? Entertainer? Is that what Ali was?
September 6, 2013 |
THE VINCE FUMO legal saga is marching on, possibly to its biggest stage yet. The former state senator, who is under house arrest in Spring Garden after leaving federal prison last month, is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn his 2009 conviction, arguing in part that the jurors saw media reports of evidence excluded from the trial and may have been biased against him. A date with the Supreme Court is an unlikely next chapter for Fumo's...
August 29, 2013 |
TRENTON - New Jersey drivers face fines for texting while driving and prison time when they cause death or injury. Now, a state appellate court has decided it's not just drivers who can wind up in trouble for texting: Message senders can also be held responsible in civil cases, if they know the recipient is driving and likely to read the text while behind the wheel. In an opinion published Tuesday, the appellate court agreed with a Morris County Superior Court judge's decision to dismiss a claim against a 17-year-old girl who texted 18-year-old Kyle Best before his pickup crossed the center line of a road and struck a husband and wife on their motorcycle.
August 27, 2013
A FEW DAYS before its 50th anniversary, we think of the March on Washington, and the civil-rights movement that it embodied, as a triumph of democracy. In the grand sense, this is true. Protest is by no means exclusive to democracies, but it's more at home in a democratic system than any other. The civil-rights movement extended the promise of democracy to many who had been denied it. But there were also aspects of the movement's victories that could be spun as undemocratic. Many Southern whites decried the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as an imposition of external values on the majorities of residents in their states (the internal value they were protecting, of course, was the right to discriminate)
August 26, 2013 |
The intense, searching eyes of Rand Spear beam out at you from a giant billboard as you drive north on I-95 in Philadelphia near the Cottman Avenue exit. It is really, really hard to look away, and that is the idea. "He Eats Insurance Companies For BREAKFAST!" proclaims the advertisement for Spear's personal-injury law firm, Spear, Greenfield & Richman P.C. Yum! Can I have a side of subrogation with that and maybe an order of joint and several liability? For decades, the rules of professional conduct banned attorney advertising.