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Survey: Trouble for Limited English Speakers in PA Courts

A survey by the Sheller Center for Social Justice shows that individuals with limited English skills who appear in Pennsylvania courts often lack language assistance. The Sheller Center, part of Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, surveyed 79 magisterial district courts in 20 Pennsylvania counties.

Pennsylvania House Approves Raising Judicial Retirement Age from 70 to 75

The constitutional amendment that would increase Pennsylvania’s mandatory judicial retirement age from 70 to 75 passed through the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on Tuesday. The amendment will move to the Senate next and, if approved, will appear on the ballot for final approval by voters.

Judge Ballentine Suspended for Second Time after Failing to Pay Taxes

Pennsylvania’s Court of Judicial Discipline suspended Lancaster City District Judge Kelly Ballentine without pay on Friday, following a hearing that took place on Thursday in Harrisburg. Judge Ballentine was charged with failing to pay her state and federal income taxes for several years (between 2009 and 2013).

Wolf Nominates Two to PA Supreme Court

On Wednesday, Governor Wolf named two nominees to temporarily fill vacant seats on Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court: Duquesne University School of Law Dean and Professor Ken Gormley and Centre County Court of Common Pleas President Judge Thomas Kistler. The vacancies exist due to the mandatory retirement at age 70 of Chief Justice Ronald D.

Bills Increasing Mandatory Retirement Age for PA Judges Moves Forward

Two bills that would increase the mandatory retirement age from 70 to 75 for judges in Pennsylvania passed through the House Judiciary Committee this week. House Bill 89 and House Bill 90 would amend Pennsylvania’s constitution, and must therefore pass in two consecutive sessions and then be placed on the ballot to be passed by voters.

With 3 Openings on PA Supreme Court, Candidates Seek Party Endorsements

With an unprecedented number of openings on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in 2015, nearly one dozen judges and lawyers who hope to run are seeking the endorsement of their respective parties. Some see obtaining an endorsement from the Democratic or Republican party as a crucial aspect of running a successful campaign.

Pennsylvania Bar Association Releases Ratings of 2015 Judicial Candidates

The Pennsylvania Bar Association Judicial Evaluation Commission (PBA JEC) has released its ratings of potential candidates running for the Pennsylvania Supreme, Superior, and Commonwealth Courts in 2015. There will be three open seats on the Supreme Court, one on the Superior Court, and one on the Commonwealth Court in the election this November.

Press Release: US Supreme Court Hears Argument on Judicial Election Rule – Pennsylvania Impact

Washington DC (January 20, 2015) – Today, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Williams-Yulee v. the Florida Bar on whether Florida’s ban on judicial candidates personally asking for money violates their First Amendment rights. Pennsylvania has a similar ban.

Former Traffic Court Judge Sentenced to 20 Months in Prison

Former Philadelphia Traffic Court Judge Michael Lowry received a 20-month prison sentence on Wednesday for perjury. U.S. District Judge Lawrence F. Stengel additionally sentenced Lowry to a year of supervised release and 100 hours of community service.

Candidates Flock to Three Open Seats on PA Supreme Court

With an unprecedented number of vacancies on Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court in 2015, more than sixteen candidates have expressed interest in running for one of three open seats. Commentators speculate that the amount of openings combined with Pennsylvania’s laid-back campaign finance laws could lead to an unprecedented amount of money flooding in from outside special interest groups.