Court Scandals Send Dozens of Pennsylvania Cases Back to Square One

2000px-Seal_of_the_Supreme_Court_of_Pennsylvania.svgThe Citizens Voice reports that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court announced on Friday that it had ordered new arguments in nearly a third of the cases it heard in 2015 due to the disruption caused by internal turnover.

The new briefs and arguments required by the court will incur significant further expenses in lawyers’ fees for litigants in 26 cases. The turnover causing these additional costs are largely scandal related, as the court has had to deal with disruptions such as the suspension of Justice Michael Eakin in an email porn scandal (see Gavel Grab).

These delays have meant that the three newly elected justices have to rule on cases they haven’t heard before and, consequently, the three incumbent justices decided they didn’t want to rule with just half the court voting.

In response, the newspaper urges a merit selection system that “emphasizes ability and standards rather than political appeal, thus diminishing the prospects for scandal and justice delayed.” A proposal for the merit selection of top judges is in the legislature, and you can read about it from Gavel Grab.