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Jan 17, 2014 Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Struck Down as Judge Cites Burden on Citizens

QUOTE: ruled that the law hampered the ability of hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians to cast their ballots, with the burden falling most heavily on elderly, disabled and low-income residents, and that the state’s reason for the law — that it was needed to combat voter fraud — was not supported by the facts....In addition, Judge McGinley ruled, the state’s $5 million campaign to explain the law had been full of misinformation that has never been corrected.

New York Times
Sep 26, 2013 Public Nuisance: What happens when calling 911 could cost you your home.

QUOTE: the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union and Briggs’ lawyer sued the borough of Norristown on behalf of Briggs, arguing that its disorderly behavior ordinance—and hundreds of similar laws around the country—unconstitutionally punish protected First Amendment speech, fall most heavily of victims of domestic violence, and recast those victims as a public nuisance.

Jul 23, 2012 Why the NCAA’s Sanctions on Penn State are just dead wrong

QUOTE: The punishment levied by Emmert was nothing less than an extra-legal, extra-judicial imposition into the affairs of a publicly funded campus...Take a step back from the hysteria and just think about what took place: Penn State committed no violations of any NCAA by-laws.

Feb 28, 2012 Judge’s dismissal of atheist's harassment claim against Muslim makes waves

QUOTE: A blog post by the group American Atheists disagrees. "That a Muslim immigrant can assault a United States citizen,” it says, “in defense of his religious beliefs and walk away a free man, while the victim is chastised and insulted... is a horrible abrogation."

CNN (Cable News Network)
Feb 28, 2012 Virginia Senate Passes Ultrasound Bill as Other States Take Notice

QUOTE: Changing course after an unwelcome national uproar, the Virginia Senate adopted a revised bill on Tuesday that still requires doctors to perform an ultrasound on women before they have an abortion, but also says that women cannot be forced to have an invasive vaginal ultrasound....The Senate vote came after a bitter debate in which Democrats pleaded with the body not to adopt a bill that they said remained — even with the changes — demeaning to women and insulting to doctors.

New York Times
Feb 24, 2012 Attorneys: Cardinal ordered memo on priests destroyed

QUOTE: A Philadelphia archdiocese official on trial for allegedly covering up the sexual abuse of children has asked a court to throw out charges against him based on a 1994 memo showing Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua ordered a list of suspected abusive Catholic priests to be destroyed. Attorneys for Monsignor William Lynn asked a Philadelphia court to dismiss charges of conspiracy and child endangerment based on documents that Lynn had informed his superiors -- including the cardinal -- that priests in the archdiocese were assaulting children.

CNN (Cable News Network)
Jan 29, 2012 Words matter in Penn State perjury case

QUOTE: the story began with an assistant coach at Penn State, Mike McQueary, who testified that nearly 10 years ago he walked in on former coach Jerry Sandusky sexually abusing a young boy in the football team's locker room showers. McQueary, who was a graduate assistant at the time, said he had no doubt that he witnessed "severe sexual acts" that were wrong and "over the lines." Yet, as a transcript shows, each time McQueary's story was told it became less specific, until others at the end of the line reacted as if what he had seen was no big deal.

CNN (Cable News Network)
Nov 10, 2011 Penn State finally puts university ahead of football by firing Paterno

QUOTE: If the charges against Sandusky are true, Paterno, McQueary, Spanier, former athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president Gary Schultz enabled a monster because not a single one of them thought to dial 9-1-1. That is inexcusable, and it speaks to a need to change the power structure and the culture at Penn State.

Sports Illustrated (SI)
Apr 23, 2011 Resistance to Gas Drilling Rises on Unlikely Soil

QUOTE: “It’s our health that’s at stake…” A report for Congressional Democrats released last week detailed the quantity of chemicals that gas companies are putting into the ground.

New York Times
Oct 12, 2009 Cleansing the Air at the Expense of Waterways (Toxic Waters)

QUOTE: Even as a growing number of coal-burning power plants around the nation have moved to reduce their air emissions, many of them are creating another problem: water pollution.

New York Times
Sep 15, 2009 Do You Have the Right to Flip Off a Cop?

QUOTE: "The law is clear that people have the constitutional right to use profanity, especially when it comes to government officials, because that is a form of political speech," [ACLU legal director Witold] Walczak says. "But despite that, we have police officers regularly misapplying the law to punish people who offend them — that's really what it comes down to."

Time Magazine
Jun 21, 2009 Lancaster, Pa., keeps a close eye on itself

QUOTE: A vast and growing web of security cameras monitors the city of 55,000, operated by a private group of self-appointed gatekeepers. There's been surprisingly little outcry.

Los Angeles Times
Jun 05, 2009 Firms Tied to Murtha Have Troubled Past: Companies Under Investigation Have Gotten Millions in Earmarks

QUOTE: ...question now under federal scrutiny: whether Kuchera's companies padded their Pentagon billings and diverted taxpayer money to their own pet projects.... Defense Department contracts have flowed to Kuchera's companies because of the local congressman, Democratic Rep. John P. Murtha, the chairman of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee.

Washington Post
Mar 27, 2009 Despite Red Flags About Judges, a Kickback Scheme Flourished

QUOTE: the two judges [Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. and Judge Michael T. Conahan] pleaded guilty to tax evasion and wire fraud in a scheme that involved sending thousands of juveniles to two private detention centers in exchange for $2.6 million in kickbacks.

New York Times
Mar 25, 2009 Students Sue Prosecutor in Cellphone Photos Case

QUOTE: When a high school cheerleader in northeastern Pennsylvania learned that she might face criminal charges after investigators reported finding a nude photo of her on someone else’s cellphone, she was more confused than frightened at being caught up in a case of “sexting”...

New York Times
Oct 24, 2008 'Race question mark' over US town

QUOTE: Fayette County residents on the race issue "I'm not voting for Obama, he's black."

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
May 13, 2008 A Usually Legal Practice That Wears Black Eyes

QUOTE: The [Clinton] campaign paid her and seven other members of her family $100 to $200 each to knock on doors, deliver fliers and get voters to the polls for the Democratic primary on March 4, which Mrs. Clinton narrowly won...The payments, known in the political vernacular as “street money,” are a legal but controversial tool that Mrs. Clinton employed at a time when she was desperately seeking a victory after losing 10 consecutive contests to Mr. Obama.

New York Times
Jan 28, 2008 Pathologist Accused of Profiting From Office

QUOTE: The upshot of the government’s case is that [forensic pathologist] Dr. [Cyril H.] Wecht...used his office to benefit himself. The accusations include using county equipment, vehicles and employees in his private forensic pathology business.

New York Times
Jan 13, 2008 On the Lookout for Out-of-District Students

QUOTE: Clifton is hardly the only district searching for students sneaking into its schools....And there are many ways to find students who don’t belong. Bounties, detectives, stakeouts with cameras, and hot lines that receive tips from anonymous callers are tools that some school districts use to combat the perennial problem of illegally enrolled students.

New York Times
Aug 17, 2007 Commercial College Ordered to Repay U.S. $2.5 Million

QUOTE: The parent company of Interboro Institute, a commercial college in New York City that a state investigation found had cheated in determining student eligibility for government financial aid, has been ordered to repay the federal government about $2.5 million...

New York Times
Feb 13, 2007 In Philadelphia, a 'disturbing' black murder rate: With more than triple the US average of African-American homicides, the city is battling to protect kids from gunfire

QUOTE: Overall, murders have been on the rise – 406 last year. Of those, 317 were gun-related, compared with 233 four years ago. And it's the city's black residents and neighborhoods that feel the effects most acutely.

Christian Science Monitor
Oct 13, 2006 Prosecutors want reporters' hard drives (Police blotter)

QUOTE: Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett demands reporters' entire hard drives...Court denies attorney general's request, saying it would be too invasive and create a chilling effect for journalists.
Aug 17, 2006 At 3rd Circuit, Topless Bar Topples Lewdness Law

QUOTE: A Philadelphia topless bar has toppled a half-century old Pennsylvania statute that prohibits "lewd" entertainment in any venue that has a liquor license with its victory in a federal appeals court that struck the law down as unconstitutionally overbroad.
Jul 12, 2006 Failure to Tell Partner of HIV Can Bring Criminal Prosecution

QUOTE: the Superior Court has ruled that HIV-positive Pennsylvanians accused of not telling their consensual sexual partners they have the virus can be charged with reckless endangerment.

Legal Intelligencer
Nov 15, 2005 Supreme Court to Review a Pa. Prison Policy That Alito Backed in Dissent

QUOTE: The Supreme Court announced yesterday that it will review a Pennsylvania inmate's claim that his First Amendment rights were violated by a prison policy that denies dangerous prisoners access to most reading material, television and radio.

Washington Post
Oct 23, 2005 Who Should Redistrict?

QUOTE: many of the complaints about elections would really disappear simply by taking the redistricting process out of the hands of elected officials? Houston says districts should be compact and competitive, but in California, like-minded people tend to cluster.

New York Times
Sep 22, 2005 Grand Jury in Pa. Says Church Hid Sex Abuse

QUOTE: "The abuser priests... were able to prevent or delay reports of their sexual assaults, to the point where applicable statutes of limitations expired. And Archdiocese officials, by burying those reports they did receive and covering up the conduct, similarly managed to outlast any statutes of limitation... "

Washington Post
Jun 13, 2005 Homeschoolers may win access to school clubs: State Senate panel has OK'd bill to compel all districts to open up

QUOTE: "[Pennsylvani--Ed.] Senate Bill 361 would require school districts to allow the state's 24,415 homeschooled children to participate in extracurricular activities."

Morning Call, The (Allentown, PA)
Nov 02, 2004 G.O.P. in Ohio Can Challenge Voters at Polls

QUOTE: a Federal appeals court ruled early Tuesday morning that the Republican Party could place thousands of people inside polling places to challenge the eligibility of voters, a blow to Democrats who argued those challengers will intimidate minority voters.

New York Times
Sep 26, 2003 Doctors Can Pursue RICO Suit Against HMO

QUOTE: ... doctors accuse Keystone of "shaving" their monthly capitation payments by under-reporting the number of patients enrolled in the doctors' practice groups, and "manipulating" the coding system used to reimburse for services...
Mar 05, 2003 Suspension of Executions Is Urged for Pennsylvania

QUOTE: A committee appointed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court recommended that the state halt executions until the effects of possible racial bias in capital cases are better understood.

New York Times
Jan 10, 2002 High Court Reaffirms 'Truth in Sentencing': Capital-case Jurors Must Know Options

QUOTE: The Supreme Court, in a split decision, reaffirmed...that courts must tell jurors that life without parole is an alternative to the death penalty in capital murder cases where the defendant's future dangerousness is at issue.

Washington Post
May 27, 2001 The Ghosts of Racism Past and Present Are Haunting a Pennsylvania Town

QUOTE: The National Alliance has been gravitating to places where racial tension has recently exploded, including street disturbances in Cincinnati and Seattle and the current reinvestigation of two deaths here in the 1969 rioting. National and local human rights specialists tracking the National Alliance emphasize that fast and firm community action is paramount in fighting the alliance message..."

New York Times
May 20, 2001 Inmate Rehabilitation Returns As Prison Goal

QUOTE: In a sense, these new programs represent a major shift in thinking about how to run prisons — a return to the old notion of rehabilitating prisoners, the idea behind the very term "corrections" that lay at the creation of American prisons in the 19th century. Rehabilitation was discredited and largely abandoned decades ago in most state prison systems...

New York Times