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February 21, 2006

Philadelphia Bar Association Files Amicus Curiae in Support of Judges

PHILADELPHIA - The Philadelphia Bar Association filed a brief as a friend of the court today in support of the judicial litigants seeking to declare as unconstitutional PA Act 72, which rolled back pay raises for certain elected officials, including pay raises for judges, but which did not lower the salaries of numerous other state officers. The brief emphasizes the Association’s mission to preserve and protect judicial independence, and calls for the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to ensure that the judges of the state can perform their duties without worry of political reprisals affecting their compensation.

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has agreed to hear a King’s Bench appeal to determine if PA Act 72 violates Article V, Section 16 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, which states “Justices, judges and justices of peace shall be compensated by the Commonwealth as provided by law. Their compensation shall not be diminished during their terms of office, unless by law applying generally to all salaried officers of the Commonwealth.” Marc J. Sonnenfeld, a partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, along with Thomas V. Ayala and Timothy D. Mygatt, are representing the Association. In addition to filing the brief a request has been made to present oral argument before the Court.

The brief supports the case of The Honorable Charles C. Brown, Jr., The Honorable Fran T. Hazel, The Honorable Robert E. Kunselman, The Honorable Benjamin Lerner, The Honorable William A. Meehan, The Honorable Timothy Patrick O’Reilly and The Honorable Joseph A. Smyth, Applicants, v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, et al.

View the full brief HERE.

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