Pennsylvania Supreme Court

Government & Politics
5:00 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

PA Supreme Court Won't Revisit Gas Drilling Case

Pennsylvania's highest court said Friday it would not revisit its decision striking down a state law that took zoning decisions about natural gas drilling out of the hands of local governments.

The state Supreme Court denied a request by Gov. Tom Corbett's administration to vacate its decision and send it back to a lower court for a new round of briefs and fact-finding process.

Instead, the justices left in place the Dec. 19 decision that said new industry-friendly rules violated the state constitution.

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Government & Politics
10:20 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Judge Spikes Photo ID Requirement for PA Voters

A state judge has struck down the law requiring Pennsylvania's voters to show photo identification at the polls.

Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley said the requirement that was the centerpiece of Pennsylvania's embattled 2012 voter identification law places an unreasonable burden on the fundamental right to vote.

The decision paves the way for an expected appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Republicans approved the law over the protests of Democrats.

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Natural Gas Drilling
4:04 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

PA High Court Strikes Down Zoning Limits on Drilling

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Thursday struck down portions of a law that stripped some of the powers municipalities have to decide where the natural gas industry can operate — portions that the industry had sought from Gov. Tom Corbett and lawmakers.

The justices ruled the 2012 law unconstitutionally restricted the power of municipalities, although the 4-to-2 majority disagreed as to why it was unconstitutional.

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Government & Politics
3:30 am
Mon July 22, 2013

New State Supreme Court Justice to Be Sworn In

The newest member of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is scheduled to be sworn in July 30th.

Gov. Tom Corbett’s nominee, Correale Stevens, was confirmed by the Senate on a 50-0 vote on June 30, returning the court to a four-to-three Republican majority and filling the vacant seat left by the resignation of Justice Joan Orie Melvin.

The 66-year-old judge from Luzerne County will serve through 2016 — the end of Melvin’s term.

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Pennsylvania
4:48 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Ex-Justice Melvin Owes $128K in Fines, Restitution

Former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin's campaign corruption conviction will cost her not only three years on house arrest but also nearly $128,000 in fines, restitution and court costs.

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Pennyslvania Courts
1:17 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Report: PA Courts Plagued by Funding Shortfalls, Misperceptions

Pennsylvania's court system faces financial challenges and continued public confusion over its role.
Credit Joe Gratz / Flickr

The annual state Supreme Court’s State of the Commonwealth Courts report finds the two biggest issues facing Pennsylvania’s court system are financial shortfalls and misperceptions about the system.

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Government & Politics
6:17 am
Thu May 9, 2013

PA Supreme Court Upholds State House and Senate Districts on Second Try

After more than a year of legal challenges, the state has new district lines for the House and Senate. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has unanimously ruled to uphold the state Legislature’s second stab at drawing new districts.

The maps were challenged by several groups – among them, a piano teacher and self-styled redistricting savant who drew her own maps to show there was a better way.

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Juvenile Justice
5:36 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Ruling Offers Juvenile Killers Possibility for Parole

The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling last June that juveniles cannot be sentenced to mandatory life in prison without the possibility of parole is now having repercussions in Pennsylvania.  

The high court ruling meant the commonwealth had to determine what to do with the approximately 400 juveniles tried in adult proceedings who fell into that category.

Last week the Pennsylvania Supreme Court tossed out the sentence for Qu'eed Batts, of Northampton County, who was 14 when he fatally shot a man. The state's top court ordered that Batts be re-sentenced.

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Joan Orie Melvin
2:02 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Melvin Quits Pa. Supreme Court as of May 1

A Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice who was convicted last month of using taxpayer-paid staff for political campaigns told the governor Monday she is resigning from the bench as of May 1, about a week before she will learn her sentence.

The letter from Justice Joan Orie Melvin to Gov. Tom Corbett said she made the decision "with deep regret and a broken heart."

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