Archive for the tag 'Supreme Court'

Apr 09 2010

2009 PA Supreme Court Campaign the Subject of Grand Jury Investigations

Published by under Judges,News

In Allegheny County this week, a grand jury returned a presentment against Senator Jane Orie and her sister Janine Orie, a member of Justice Joan Orie Melvin’s staff, for violations of laws regarding political activity by state employees on taxpayer-funded time. At issue is an allegedly almost decade-long use of Senator Orie’s legislative staff for […]

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Nov 13 2009

Voter education is not enough stop the impact of money on elected judges

The Harrisburg Patriot-Times, which recently ran our opinion piece in support of merit selection, published a letter yesterday in which the author questioned whether merit selection of judges is any better than electing them. While we thank the author for mentioning the work we do to educate voters, we feel obliged to make clear that […]

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Nov 02 2009

Money, Money, Money, Money

This is the opening for Sunday’s op-ed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette by Lynn Marks and Shira Goodman of PMC: The O’Jays famously sang, “Money, money, money, money. Some people got to have it. Hey, hey, hey. Some people really need it.” This is certainly true of statewide judicial candidates in Pennsylvania. Marks and Goodman explain […]

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Oct 29 2009

Paper Refuses to Make Judicial Endorsements — Backs Merit Selection Instead

An editorial in the Times-Tribune (Scranton) makes the case for replacing judicial elections with Merit Selection for the appellate courts.  Exhibit A is the current partisan — and in the last few days nasty — race between Republican Joan Orie Melvin and Democrat Jack Panella for the vacancy on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court: Judge Orie […]

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Oct 27 2009

Let’s Talk About Money

All of a sudden, other people seem to be doing our work for us, that is alerting the public to the evils of money in judicial elections.  Supreme Court candidates are challenging each other about campaign contributions, and the media is all over the story.  (Check out this story on NPR’s WHYY and articles in the Pittsburgh […]

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Oct 20 2009

Partisan Mudslinging Reaches PA Judicial Campaign

Published by under Judges,News

Everyone knows how dirty election advertising can be. Negative campaign ads are easy to spot – with the clichéd black and white low-angle images of the opposing candidate, dramatic fade-ins of damning headlines, and music that would make Alfred Hitchcock proud. Mudslinging and negative campaigning is used at all levels of politics and by both […]

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Sep 23 2009

Wisconsin Takes a Hard Look at the Way it Chooses Judges

Published by under Judges,News,Opinion

Last week, we wrote about a case currently before a state court panel in Wisconsin involving Michael Gableman, a then-candidate for the state’s Supreme Court who ran an ad against his incumbent opponent. The ad was quite misleading (at best). According to the National Law Journal, that case may be ultimately headed for the U.S. […]

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Mar 04 2009

Gavel Grab Runs Down the Caperton Argument

Our friends at Gavel Grab offer a complete analysis of the Caperton v. Massey argument, including commentary from PMC, the League of Women Voters and other amici.  Gavel Grab quotes PMC Associate Director Shira Goodman: “Pennsylvania, which elects all judges in partisan elections, has seen first hand the steadily increasing influence of money in judicial […]

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Mar 03 2009

Associated Press Reviews the Caperton Argument

Published by under Judges,News

The Associated Press offers a useful account of this morning’s oral argument in Caperton v. Massey. Although it’s always hard to tell how a case will be decided based on the oral argument, the A.P. offers a glimpse inside the courtroom: The Supreme Court appears to be willing to say that elected judges must step […]

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Dec 15 2008

Looking Ahead to the 2009 Judicial Elections

2009 is a judicial election year in Pennsylvania.  It will be a busy one here, as Pennsylvanians will be electing a Supreme Court Justice, three Superior Court judges, two Commonwealth Court judges, and many more trial level judges. We’ll be watching and keeping track of the money, and waiting to see if the United States […]

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