Monday, October 27, 2014

PA Supreme Court Justice Resigns

Recently, I posted information about the latest scandal involving the Pennsylvania Supreme Court (here). Now, Justice Seamus McCaffery, the center of the controversy, has resigned. Here are excerpts from the report by the Philadelphia Daily News:

Seamus McCaffery, a former Philadelphia police officer elected in 2007 to the state's highest court, is retiring today, one week after four of his fellow justices voted to suspend him from the bench.

McCaffery, 64, has been in a long and rancorous feud with fellow Philadelphian, Chief Justice Ron Castille, who must step down on Dec. 31 because he has reached the mandatory retirement age of 70.

Castille was one of the four votes to suspend McCaffery last Monday after another justice, J. Michael Eakin all but accused McCaffery of extortion a week before.

McCaffery was snared in the porn scandal that has been blossoming at the state Attorney General's Office, leading to the resignations of four former top deputies to Gov. Corbett.

You can read more here.

This scandal is just the latest in a series that has arisen in the Pennsylvania judicial system. In my opinion, a major cause is a system that elects judges by popular vote. I also blame a state political structure that gives so much power to the court system without sufficient checks. I am not in a position to determine whether Pennsylvania’s political culture is more unfortunate than that of other states.


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