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NEWS
March 24, 2016
ISSUE | SUPREME COURTS Conduct board best suited to investigate To clarify my comments quoted in the Inquirer Sunday ("Judicial board: Tough enough?"): In reviewing the emails that Attorney General Kathleen Kane provided to the Supreme Court in late 2014, the court directed me to focus on three areas of immediate concern: pornography; improper communications about cases; and relationships that could require recusal. However, while these were my main focus, the court also asked me to report any other violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct.
NEWS
March 20, 2016
Garland would move the Supreme Court to the left, but how far? A4.
NEWS
March 20, 2016 | By Jonathan Tamari, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - Facing a barrage of Democratic attacks - and scrutiny as a key figure in a debate dominating national news - Sen. Pat Toomey went to Scranton on Friday. The Pennsylvania Republican talked about a recently passed bill to combat opioid abuse, toured a prison, where he spoke about a measure allowing guards to carry pepper spray, and visited the state police barracks where two officers were ambushed in 2014. It was exactly the kind of day that Republican operatives say Toomey should strive to replicate as Democrats mount an all-out assault over the senator's refusal to consider President Obama's Supreme Court nominee, federal Appeals Judge Merrick Garland.
NEWS
March 20, 2016
John Yoo is a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley, a former general counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee, and a former Justice Department official. He is coeditor of "Liberty's Nemesis: The Unchecked Expansion of the State" Last week's nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court signals President Obama's willingness to compromise, but it comes far too late to induce a sudden state of happy cooperation. It should not change the political calculus of the Republican majority to keep Justice Antonin Scalia's seat open until the November elections.
NEWS
March 17, 2016 | By Chris Mondics, Staff Writer
Appearances to the contrary, Justice J. Michael Eakin wasn't horsing around. The case before the state Supreme Court involved two men from rural Mercer County arrested for riding a horse on a public highway while drunk. The men said Pennsylvania's motor vehicle laws were unconstitutionally vague, at least as they applied to their case, and asked that the charges be thrown out. Eakin disagreed and in a dissenting opinion lapsed into verse, borrowing from the theme song of the 1960s television show, Mr. Ed . "A horse is a horse, of course of course But the Vehicle Code does not divorce Its application from, perforce, a steed, as my colleagues said.
NEWS
March 17, 2016 | By Angela Couloumbis, Craig R. McCoy, and Mark Fazlollah, STAFF WRITERS
Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin has resigned his seat on the state's highest court, months after being charged with judicial ethics lapses for his involvement in a pornographic email scandal. He is the second top jurist to step down amid revelations that prosecutors, judges, and law enforcement officials for years exchanged pornographic and otherwise offensive emails, often using state computers. "We have lost one of the finest jurists on the court," Eakin's lawyer, William Costopoulos, said at a news conference Tuesday.
NEWS
March 15, 2016 | By Maddie Hanna, TRENTON BUREAU
The battle in Washington over late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's seat is a month in the making. But in New Jersey, a political stalemate over an open state Supreme Court seat has stretched six years. "No other states come close," said Bill Raftery, an analyst with the National Center for State Courts in Williamsburg, Va. "Most other states, there would have been some mechanism to fill it by now. " In many states, including Pennsylvania, justices are elected. In others, they are put forward by nominating commissions.
BUSINESS
March 11, 2016 | By Andrew Maykuth, Staff Writer
In the latest legal battle over Pennsylvania's oil and gas law, lawyers representing local townships and the state squared off Wednesday before the state Supreme Court to mop up unfinished business left after the court's landmark 2013 decision striking down statewide zoning for oil and gas activity. Meeting in Philadelphia, the justices heard a plea to overturn a lower-court ruling that allowed some limits on what doctors can disclose about proprietary chemicals used in gas drilling, a ruling opponents call the "physician gag order.
NEWS
March 11, 2016 | By Wendy Ruderman, Staff Writer
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court meted out a harsh public rebuke Wednesday of a newly elected Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge, citing "serial misconduct" in his previous work as criminal defense lawyer. Scott DiClaudio, who was sworn in as a judge in January, stood silently before the six justices while he endured a scolding that lasted fewer than five minutes but was searing nonetheless. "This court will not tolerate serial misconduct," Justice Debra McCloskey Todd said during a morning court session in City Hall.
NEWS
March 7, 2016 | By Michael Smerconish
Not even Vice President Biden, a 36-year Senate veteran and former chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, would be afforded the courtesy of a Senate interview, much less a Judiciary Committee hearing, should President Obama nominate him to fill the seat left vacant by the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Or so I was recently told by Utah's Sen. Orrin Hatch, one of the 11 Republicans on the committee who signed a letter saying they will "withhold consent on any nominee to the Supreme Court submitted by this president to fill Justice Scalia's vacancy.
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