Pennsylvania Supreme Court

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania state Rep. Rick Saccone (R - Elizabeth) and attorney Conor Lamb (D - Mt. Lebanon) are running in the March 13 special election to complete the rest of former Congressman Tim Murphy’s (R - Upper St. Clair) term in office.

Pennsylvania Court Throws Out Congressional Boundaries

Jan 22, 2018
WHYY

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Monday struck down the boundaries of the state's 18 congressional districts, saying they violate the state constitution and granting a major victory to a group of Democratic voters who argued the districts were unconstitutionally gerrymandered to benefit Republicans.

Gerrymandering Case Sows Doubt In Big Year For House Races

Jan 16, 2018
Google Maps

Lots of people want to run for Congress in Pennsylvania this year, but they may not yet know which district they live in.

The prospect that the state Supreme Court could decide a high-profile gerrymandering case by ordering new boundaries for Pennsylvania's 18 congressional districts, including one that has been described as looking like "Goofy kicking Donald Duck," is sowing uncertainty barely a month before candidates begin circulating petitions.

No Proof Congressional Map Is Unconstitutional, Judge Says

Dec 29, 2017
Department of the Interior / Wikimedia Commons

Democratic voters suing to invalidate the current map of Pennsylvania's congressional districts haven't proven that it violates the state constitution by unfairly favoring Republican candidates, a judge said Friday.

Katie Blackley / WESA

 

The city of Pittsburgh is preparing to defend two laws that would impact local workers – one requiring private employers to offer paid sick leave, and another creating new training requirements for security officers in many city buildings.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently decide to hear cases challenging the laws early next year. 

So far, the city has lost in lower courts because, the courts found, it does not have the authority to impose these regulations on businesses.

 

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court is deciding whether Governor Tom Wolf overstepped his authority with an executive order letting the state organize home healthcare workers under a union-like structure.

A lower court already decided against the governor once.

But lawyers for the Wolf administration argue the governor’s directive merely gives workers an option to voice their concerns.

The 2015 order—one of Wolf’s first in office—targets independent workers who care for elderly and disabled people in their homes.

Matt Rourke / AP

A Republican justice is keeping her seat on Pennsylvania's highest court, earning a 10-term after being appointed last year.

Justice Sallie Mundy held off Allegheny County Judge Dwayne Woodruff on Tuesday in what was the most closely watched race in the off-year election. Woodruff is a former Pittsburgh Steeler.

The result means the court's partisan balance remains five Democrats and two Republicans. Two other justices won up-or-down retention contests.

Carolyn Kaster / AP

Pennsylvania voters have judicial elections, a ballot question on taxes and a slew of local races to consider as they head to the polls.

The biggest statewide race Tuesday pits Democratic Allegheny County Judge Dwayne Woodruff against Republican Justice Sallie Mundy.

The result will leave the high court in Democratic hands, either 5 to 2 or 6 to 1.

Woodruff is a former Pittsburgh Steeler who handles family court. Mundy is a former Superior Court judge from Tioga County who was appointed to fill an unexpired term.

Pennsylvania Courts

Across Pennsylvania Tuesday, voters will choose judges and justices in a total of 370 races at all levels of the state court system.

 

Many voters find it challenging to choose which judicial candidates to support, according to Maureen Lally-Green, a former judge on the Pennsylvania Superior Court and the dean of Duquesne School of Law.

 

Matt Rourke / AP Photo

In 2015, $15.8 million was spent in Pennsylvania's judicial elections, breaking the record for the costliest supreme court race in U.S. history.

pacourts.us

The two candidates fighting for a full term on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will be debating the issues at a Harrisburg law school.

The hour-long forum at Widener University Commonwealth Law School on Wednesday pits Democrat Dwayne Woodruff against Republican Sallie Mundy.

Woodruff is a family court judge in Allegheny County and a former defensive back for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Tuesday is the last day to register to vote in Pennsylvania's Nov. 7 general election.

The biggest statewide contest for voters is between Supreme Court Justice Sallie Mundy and challenger Dwayne Woodruff, an Allegheny County judge who formerly played for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Judge Races, Property Tax Issue Go Before Voters Next Month

Oct 9, 2017
Matt Rourke / AP

A year ago, Pennsylvania voters were in the national spotlight and being fed a daily barrage of television ads for close presidential and U.S. Senate races.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Ruling Helps School Districts Limit Charter Expansion

Aug 10, 2017
Jessica Kourkounis / Keystone Crossroads

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court delivered a ruling this week that gives traditional public school districts more power to limit charter school growth.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

**UPDATED: 4:45 p.m. Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Monday that Pittsburgh Police officers don't have to live inside city limits.

AP

 

Pennsylvanians have voted to raise the mandatory retirement age for judges.

The constitutional amendment approved Tuesday will let judges remain on the bench until the end of the year in which they turn 75. That's five years longer than currently allowed.

Passage of the ballot measure means Republican Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Saylor won't have to retire next month, and Democratic Justice Max Baer won't have to step down at the end of next year.

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

City officials are looking for ways to fill a $10 million hole in the 2017 budget after the state Supreme Court declared a uniform casino tax unconstitutional.

The court struck down the provision that sent millions of dollars to host municipalities – either 2 percent of a casino’s slot revenues or $10 million, whichever was more money.  The court gave the legislature 120 days to fix the law.

Matt Rourke / AP

On Election Day, Pennsylvania voters will decide whether the mandatory retirement age for Supreme Court Justices in Pennsylvania should be increased from 70 to 75. 

The judicial reform group Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts is staying out of the debate, which has often been contentious. 90.5 WESA's Josh Raulerson spoke with PMC's Maida Milone to unpack the key issues and their political implications.

David Smith / AP

In a win for environmentalists and municipalities, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has struck down a number of provisions to the state’s oil and gas law. 

AP file photo

On Election Day, Pennsylvania voters will decide whether to raise the retirement age for judges to 75, but the way the ballot question is posed continues to be tied up in the courts. 

Here's how the question is expected to appear on the ballot in November:

"Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to require that justices, judges and justices of the peace be retired on the last day of the calendar year in which they attain the age of 75 years?"

Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania's highest court has declined to intervene in the criminal case against the state's top prosecutor. Jury selection is set to begin outside Philadelphia on Monday.

The Supreme Court on Friday turned down Attorney General Kathleen Kane's request that it take up her claim that the grand jury that investigated her was unlawful and unconstitutional.

Lawmakers Push Changes For Judicial Discipline

Mar 23, 2016
Brian Turner / Flickr

  State senators on Tuesday urged their colleagues to advance their plans to change how judicial conduct cases are handled in Pennsylvania.

A proposed amendment to the state constitution would overhaul how the commonwealth’s court system metes out discipline for its justices and judges. The issue is particularly relevant this week, after the second resignation of a state Supreme Court justice over his exchange of offensive emails with prosecutors and others. 

The entire affair has led lawmakers to scrutinize the ways Pennsylvania’s court system judges its own.

Nicholas Tonelli / Flickr

The environmental rights amendment to Pennsylvania’s constitution was passed by the state’s voters in 1971, by a margin of four to one.

New PA Supreme Court Justices Poised For Swearing In

Dec 30, 2015
Matt Slocum / AP Photo

Pennsylvania's three newly elected state Supreme Court justices will take their oaths of office next week in their home cities at opposite ends of the state.

Court Says UPMC Must Keep Rates Cheaper In Medicare Plans

Nov 30, 2015

A state Supreme Court decision means seniors and others in Pennsylvania enrolled in an insurer's Medicare Advantage plans won't have to pay comparatively higher rates in the coming years for services through the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

The justices ruled Monday that about 180,000 people in Highmark's Medicare Advantage plans will pay "in-network" fees at least until June 2019, when a consent decree between the two health providers is set to expire.

ICTY Photos / Flickr

A funny thing happened on the way to the referendum.

A year and a half ago, it seemed that getting a proposed constitutional amendment on the 2016 ballot would be the hard part. This week, the state Senate cast the final vote in the years-long process to put the question to voters: should the age limit for state judges be changed from 70 to 75 years?

What Does The Changing PA Supreme Court Mean For Education Funding, Charter Schools?

Nov 9, 2015
Matt Rourke / AP Photo

  The results of last week's Pennsylvania Supreme Court election could have wide-ranging implications for a number of high-profile cases related to education issues in Pennsylvania.

Three Democrats swept the open seats on the state's highest court – shifting the balance of power 5-to-2 in their favor when they assume the bench in January.

Joe Gratz / flickr

After the most expensive judicial election in US history, with nearly $16 million spent, the dust has finally settled on the Pennsylvanian Supreme Court election and the democrats have swept the bench. David Wecht, Christine Donohue and Kevin Dougherty, all Democrats, have won their elections and will be inducted as Supreme Court Justices. Wecht paid a visit to Essential Pittsburgh and spoke with Paul Guggenheimer about his victory.

Democrats swept all three open seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Tuesday's election, locking in a majority on the state's highest court for at least a decade that could help shape the legislative redistricting that will follow the 2020 census.

The winners of the seven-way race were Philadelphia Judge Kevin Dougherty and Superior Court judges David Wecht and Christine Donohue of Allegheny County.

Matt Slocum / AP Photo

  This year’s race for three open seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has just broken a national record.

Total campaign spending has reached $15.8 million, according to advocacy groups. That figure breaks the record held by Illinois for its two-way Supreme Court race in 2004.

For its new title, Pennsylvania can thank an unprecedented number of open Supreme Court seats as well as several groups that care about how the high court handles cases involving them.

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