The twelve candidates for Pennsylvania Supreme Court filed their second round of campaign finance reports on May 8th. The 6 Democrats and 6 Republicans reported contributions and expenditures for the period from March 31st to May 4th. The primary is on Tuesday, May 19th, but even before the primary, the race is nearing $5 million in total money raised by the candidates.
A recent change to the way criminal cases are processed in Luzerne County has resulted in a significant drop in the number of backlogged cases in the county. Court officials predict that this modification could reduce costs and relieve the demand on court resources.
The Philadelphia Bar Association released it's final round of ratings for judicial candidates today. Candidates are rated "Highly Recommended," "Recommended," or "Not Recommended."
For more information about the ratings process, check out the Philadelphia Bar Association's website HERE.
The United States Supreme Court today issued an opinion in Williams-Yulee v. The Florida Bar upholding the ban on personal solicitation by judicial candidates. The opinion emphasized the unique position of judges, stating specifically that "Judges are not politicians, even when they come to the bench by way of the ballot."
Under the leadership of its highest court, Pennsylvania is breaking ground in the growing legal area of elder justice. The Elder Law Task Force was formed in April 2013 to comprehensively study the issues of access to justice for older Pennsylvanians.
York County President Judge Stephen P. Linebaugh has spoken out regarding the reassignment of District Judge Jeff Joy’s criminal cases pending investigation, saying the directive came from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Judge Linebaugh stated that he was aware of the charges against Judge Joy from the beginning, stating that an investigation occurred and no charges were filed.
The state Supreme Court approved changes to the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure requiring magisterial district judges to favor releasing defendants awaiting payment determination hearings or trial for summary violations, rather than sending them to jail.
There are twelve candidates vying for an unprecedented three vacancies in the 2015 race for Supreme Court justice in Pennsylvania. With so many candidates competing, this year’s race is shaping up to be the most expensive election on record.
Judges who find themselves the target of an investigation, prosecution or other legal proceeding now must report that fact to both the Chief Justice and the Judicial Conduct Board within five days.