Two Pennsylvania Supreme Court cases get early coverage, while the other December releases remain quiet.
The Allentown Morning Call interviews the ACLU about Com v. $34,440 and the ongoing consideration of civil forfeiture law in Pennsylvania, an issue that’s sure to come back to the Court and maybe even the legislature in the near future.
Thomson Reuters covers SCF Consulting LLC v. Barrack Rodos, discussing the briefs and the difficult public policy determinations at play in the ongoing case. The Legal Intelligencer discusses the case’s procedural history and the views expressed by the lower court judges so far. This case will be watched in wider legal circles because it touches on legal ethics.
It’s always strange to wake up to find that TMZ is covering Pennsylania law. Coverage of Rapper Meek Mill’s curious case continues with calls for investigation into the trial judge who sentenced him. NBC News covers CCP Judge Brinkley’s ruling that Mill is a “danger to the community.” Meanwhile, several organizations are calling for investigations into Brinkley’s allegedly unethical behavior both in this case, and in Financial Interest filings. Complex and XXL Magazine discuss the organizations pursuing an investigation into Brinkley.
The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat argues that gerrymandering is an unfortunate and unavoidable part of politics, while the Huffington Post claims that Pennsylvania’s top GOP leaders are being shady in their claim of legislative privilege in League of Women Voters v. Com, currently pending before the Commonwealth Court. The case may end up being decided by SCOTUS’s decision in Gill v. Whitford, which is comprehensively covered by SCOTUSblog.
Two state legislators are calling for a “Limited Constitutional Convention.” Philly’s The Inquirer offers that many of the current proposals for constitutional change were considered and rejected at the last constitutional convention in 1967.
The Court is getting a lot of coverage this year, and Pennsylvania law has been back in the spotlight with more high-profile cases. To that end, a judge on the Superior Court has denied rapper Meek Mill’s Bail Request. An appeal to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania is likely. In another important Superior Court case, a ruling issued requiring a man to turn over his computer password over his Fifth Amendment objection. His lawyer promise an appeal to SCOPA, and appears to be a case of first impression in Pennsylvania.
In an interesting tidbit, the Williamsport Sun-Gazette reports that Chief Justice Saylor is the highest-paid government official in Pennsylvania at $213,750 per year. I have not fact-checked this assertion.
And coverage of the Gerrymandering case continues. This case is almost certain to land in front of SCOPA for a second time next year unless SCOTUS resolves the matter nationally.
This week’s Court news is mostly about Sprague v. Cortes. CBS-Philly efficiently summarizes the deadlock, while Angela Couloumbis at Philly.com gives a more in-depth discussion of the present status of the case, and of the Plaintiffs’ efforts to keep the challenge alive. Meanwhile, an editorial in The Inquirer criticizes Justice Baer’s opinion in the case, and urges the Commonwealth Court to rule in favor of re-writing the question.
On the other side of the issue, State Rep. Kate Harper (R-Montgomery) offers this thoughtful editorial on Philly.com, urging voters to accept the constitutional amendment at the ballot box this November, and citing studies that prove the brain gets stronger with age.
Finally, The Sentinal brings you “Graves in the Valley,” a brief, but fascinating sketch of the life of Chief Justice John Bannister Gibson, who served on the Court in the 19th century.