Pennsylvania Constitution Must Reading For Pennsylvania Patriots

Pennsylvania Constitution Must Reading For Pennsylvania Patriots — Delaware County’s Bill Denison has been holding on-line classes regarding the Pennsylvania Constitution and generally promoting the reading of it.

To our embarrassment, reading it was not something we’ve ever done and so a few weeks ago we did.

You’d be surprised at what you find.

Consider Article II concerning the legislature which includes reapportionment:

d)  Any aggrieved person may file an appeal from the final plan directly to the Supreme Court within 30 days after the filing thereof. If the appellant establishes that the final plan is contrary to law, the Supreme Court shall issue an order remanding the plan to the commission and directing the commission to reapportion the Commonwealth in a manner not inconsistent with such order.

(e)  When the Supreme Court has finally decided an appeal or when the last day for filing an appeal has passed with no appeal taken, the reapportionment plan shall have the force of law and the districts therein provided shall be used thereafter in elections to the General Assembly until the next reapportionment as required under this section 17.

When the state Supreme Court ordered that Pennsylvania’s congressional districts be withdrawn in 2018, was that more or less than 30 days after they were approved on Dec. 22, 2011?

Based on the Pennsylvania Constitution, the state legislature should have immediately begun impeachment proceedings for every judge who vote aye for the new districts.

If the citizenry was aware of the what the law was they would have supported the action.

Did you know that there is a specific section regarding absentee voting?

§ 14.  Absentee voting.
        (a)  The Legislature shall, by general law, provide a manner
     in which, and the time and place at which, qualified electors
     who may, on the occurrence of any election, be absent from the
     municipality of their residence, because their duties,
     occupation or business require them to be elsewhere or who, on
     the occurrence of any election, are unable to attend at their
     proper polling places because of illness or physical disability
     or who will not attend a polling place because of the observance
     of a religious holiday or who cannot vote because of election
     day duties, in the case of a county employee, may vote, and for
     the return and canvass of their votes in the election district
     in which they respectively reside.
        (b)  For purposes of this section, "municipality" means a
     city, borough, incorporated town, township or any similar
     general purpose unit of government which may be created by the
     General Assembly.
     (Nov. 5, 1957, P.L.1019, J.R.1; May 16, 1967, P.L.1048, J.R.5;
     Nov. 5, 1985, P.L.555, J.R.1; Nov. 4, 1997, P.L.636, J.R.3)

        1967 Amendment.  Joint Resolution No.5 renumbered former
     section 14 to present section 11 and amended and renumbered
     former section 19 to present section 14.
        1957 Amendment.  Joint Resolution No.1 added present section
     14 (formerly section 19).

One with knowledge of the words in Constitution would have demanded that the addition of the category of “mail -in elector” would have required amending the Constitution rather than merely changing the Election Code as per Act 77 of 2019.

Where you aware that witnesses in contested elections may not withhold testimony upon the ground that it may criminate himself or subject him to public infamy.

The Constitution is not fun reading but even skimming it and being aware of the table of contents is a significant upgrade in understanding.

You can read it here.

The citizenry of this state better start learning how to be citizens.

Thanks Bill Denison for the inspiration.

Pennsylvania Constitution Must Reading For Pennsylvania Patriots Power And Nuclear Plants

Dem Supremes Back Dominion In Pa

Dem Supremes Back Dominion In Pa — The partisan Democrat Supreme Court of Pennsylvania ruled four days ago (March 21) in favor of Dominion Voting Systems that neither Fulton County nor the Pennsylvania Senate can audit their machines as they saw fit.

This overturned a Commonwealth Court ruling.

The Supremes said the audit must be done in a specified lab.

This ruling at first glance seems reasonable until it dawns on one that the restrictions will likely lead to a predetermined outcome and they really aren’t necessary to safeguard a false positive.

And that there really isn’t a lab available with the accreditation insisted upon by the court.

What would be a legitimate concern would be if the audit was not transparent and recorded, and unobservable by Dominion and other opponents.

That was obviously not the case.

That Dominion was allowed to be a party is especially troubling. Why would there even be a question that election transparency takes precedence over the intellectual property, or any concerns, of a private corporation.

Those machines should be considered public property. Anybody, much less a government, should be allowed to look at every bell and whistle on the machine, and every percent sign and parenthesis on the software.

When a media consortium investigated the Y2K Florida election, there was no fuss.

That an investigation into Dominion is being inhibited is almost proof positive something is hidden.

So where are the screams of outrage coming from Republican leaders? Why hasn’t Silent Joe Gale said something? Tom McGarrigle? Anybody? Maybe they did. If so they just whispered. That is not good enough.

Dem Supremes Back Dominion In Pa
Dem Supremes Back Dominion In Pa -- The partisan Democrat Supreme Court of Pennsylvania ruled four days ago (March 21) in favor of Dominion Voting

Promoting Confidence In Pennsylvania Courts With Essay Contest, LOL

Promoting Confidence In Pennsylvania Courts With Essay Contest, LOLPennsylvanians for Modern Courts is promoting an essay contest for second and third year law students on the topic of using social media to promote confidence in the workings of Pennsylvania’s judicial branch.

“Under the existing rules of judicial conduct, how might Pennsylvania’s courts utilize current communication tools, such as social media, to engage Pennsylvanians to install confidence in the workings of the judicial branch and its decisions?” says the group.

Winner gets $5,000.

Think we should enter?

Good friend Elaine Mickman, who has had considerable experience with Pennsylvania’s court system, is considering this as a submission:

Top Ten Reasons to NOT have Confidence in the Untrustworthy Judiciary

1. Judiciary operates “Court-Gate” whereby the Courts are “divorced from the law.”

2. The Judiciary accepts “in-kind” gifts and contributions which promotes case and party bias, prejudice, obstruction of impartiality, all amounting to “rigged” and “case-fixing” rather than Ruling by Law.

3. Judiciary does NOT comply with, and is at “war” with the Constitution.

4. Judiciary does NOT comply with and supersedes legislated laws.

5. Judiciary does NOT comply with, nor apply their own adopted Rules.

6. Judiciary does NOT comply with the Judicial Canons.

7. Judiciary is typically NOT held accountable for their misconduct.

8. Judiciary “talks out of 2 sides of their mouth” and does NOT enforce their own orders,  Nor do the lower courts comply with appeal court Opinions or orders.

9. Judiciary regularly denies procedural & substantive due process, and “gate-keeps” court access.

10. Judiciary is typically de-humanizing.

Hey, partisan Democrats pretending to be objective Supreme Court justices in Pennsylvania: Why are you putting the interests of private corporations over election transparency in Fulton County? The “strict protocol” argument is laughable, by the way. If an auditor makes a false claim — even an innocent one — those watching from the other side will easily pick it up and ruin that auditor’s career.

Promoting Confidence In Pennsylvania Courts With Essay Contest, LOL
Promoting Confidence In Pennsylvania Courts With Essay Contest, LOL

Impeachment Try Of Pennsylvania Judge Was Met With Silence

Impeachment Try Of Pennsylvania Judge Was Met With Silence — The deathly silence surrounding a bill sponsored by 34 members of the Pennsylvania House to impeach a Pennsylvania Supreme Court judge is just another example of corrupt state of the media that goes out of its way to keep the public in the dark.

HR1044 was introduced, Oct. 6, 2020, and called for the removal of Justice David N. Wecht. This had nothing to do with the rulings concerning the election which was then a month away, but rather the court’s 2018 usurpation of the well-spelled-out powers of the state legislature concerning the makeup of congressional districts.

Why was Wecht put in the crosshairs rather than all five judges — all Democrats — who voted for it?

Because Wecht made numerous statements criticizing the makeup of the districts prior to the case.

“Everybody in this room should be angry about how gerrymandered we are…Understand, sitting here in the city of Pittsburgh, your vote is diluted. Your power is taken away from you,” he said at a meeting of the League of Women Voters.

That’s a fine thing for a politician to say but a big no no for a judge if he plans on making a ruling on the matter.

The state’s Code of Judicial Conduct is unambiguous: A judge “shall disqualify himself or herself in any proceeding in which the judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned” and a judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned when “[t]he judge, while a judge or judicial candidate, has made a public statement, other than in a court proceeding, judicial decision, or opinion, that commits the judge to reach a particular result or rule in a particular way in the proceeding or controversy.”

Wecht knew it.

And dismissed it.

That type of arrogance is grounds enough to impeach him.

But Wecht, of course, was protected by the crony media as he was on the right side of things as they saw it, so the public heard little of the attempt and what little it heard was spun to make Wecht the good guy.

The ruling allowed three districts in the state to flip from R to D and was a significant reason the Democrats won the House in 2018.

Someone might respond that the congressional districts were obscenely gerrymanded before the ruling and that no one likes gerrymandering.

We will point out that the map submitted by the Republicans in response to the court order actually had fewer splits — less gerrymandering — than the one drawn by the court.

And we are certain beyond doubt that the Democrats would not have ruled the way they did if the gerrymandering favored their side.

Pennsylvania’s judiciary is among the most corrupt in the nation. The first step in solving the problem is to call the corruption out.

If you still need your eyes opened check out Lawyers, Judges and Journalists: The Corrupt and the Corruptors by the late Bob Surrick.

Impeachment Try Of Pennsylvania Judge Was Met With Silence
Impeachment Try Of Pennsylvania Judge Was Met With Silence

Judicial Elections Hugely Important In Pennsylvania

Judicial Elections Hugely Important In Pennsylvania, forwarded from Leo Knepper of Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania

By Gina Diorio

While next year’s U.S. Senate race and, to a lesser extent, gubernatorial race are capturing much of the political media’s attention, Pennsylvania has another statewide election in just a few months. On Nov. 2, voters will elect four judges to open seats on our three statewide appellate courts. 

Before moving to Pennsylvania, I lived almost all my life in Jersey, where the governor appoints judges. So when I realized some states elect their judges, I was befuddled. Then, when I learned Pennsylvania elects judges in partisan elections, I was dumbfounded. 

You might be thinking, who cares? Why do these races matter? I’m glad you asked. 

Pennsylvania has three statewide appellate courts: Supreme Court, Superior Court, and Commonwealth Court. Superior Court and Commonwealth Court are equal in ‘rank’, so to speak, but hear different types of cases. 

The 15-member Superior Court hears appeals in criminal and most civil cases. And the court’s rulings can have a major impact on individuals, local businesses, and more. 

For example, the Superior Court has ruled on “venue shopping,” the practice of allowing trial lawyers to cherry pick where they bring personal injury cases—regardless of where the alleged injury occurred—based on which court has a history of ordering big payouts. (Hello, Philadelphia.)

The Superior Court has also chimed in on whether workers can sue former employers for illnesses that appear long after they’ve left their jobs (another potential trial lawyers’ dream). 

The 9-member Commonwealth Court, meanwhile, hears cases relating to state and local government.

Last year, when businesses challenged Gov. Wolf COVID orders, some of these cases went to Commonwealth Court. When the League of Women Voters challenged our congressional map back in 2017, that lawsuit began in Commonwealth Court. And when my organization, Commonwealth Partners, challenged our state’s unbalanced budget, we filed the case in Commonwealth Court. 

Of course, our 7-member Supreme Court can overturn or sustain any ruling from the Superior or Commonwealth courts on appeal. However, it  can also take any case directly, regardless of its status in the lower courts. 

We saw this last year when the Supreme Court assumed jurisdiction over whether the General Assembly could terminate Wolf’s emergency disaster declaration without Wolf’s approval. As you’ll recall, the court ruled against the General Assembly—paving the way for the recently passed constitutional amendments reining in a governor’s emergency powers.

The Supreme Court assumed jurisdiction over whether the General Assembly could terminate Wolf’s emergency disaster declaration without Wolf’s approval.

Given that each judge in all three appellate courts is elected, the stakes and costs of judicial elections can quickly mount. 

In 2015, Pennsylvania set a record for the most expensive state judicial races in history to date, at more than $15 million. 

Spending was so high because three seats on our Supreme Court were up for election, and Democrats saw the chance to flip that court and have the final say over all the types of cases mentioned above—plus many more. 

Democrats succeeded, and as a result we’ve seen the court toss our congressional maps, change the voting rules just before last year’s election, and uphold Gov. Wolf’s business shutdown orders, to name just a few things. (For more on harmful Supreme Court rulings since 2015, check out Commonwealth Partners President and CEO Matt Brouillette’s recent op-ed.)

This year, voters will choose one Supreme Court justice, one Superior Court judge, and two Commonwealth Court judges. (In full disclosure, Commonwealth Partners, has endorsed candidates in each race.)

All these seats are currently held by Republicans. Democrats hope to expand their 5-2 majority on the Supreme Court, flip the Superior Court (which currently has an 8-7 Republican majority), and make inroads into the 7-2 Republican majority on the Commonwealth Court. 

Of course, seeking partisan gains for partisan ends is a barrier to an objective judiciary. Instead, we should seek judges who uphold the rule of law. 

So as November approaches, Pennsylvanians would do well to recognize that, despite their lack of excitement, judicial elections are critically important—and vote accordingly.

Gina Diorio is the Public Affairs Director at Commonwealth Partners Chamber of Entrepreneurs, an independent, non-partisan, 501(c)(6) membership organization dedicated to improving the economic environment and educational opportunities in Pennsylvania. www.thecommonwealthpartners.com.

Judicial Elections Hugely Important In Pennsylvania
Judicial Elections Hugely Important In Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Court Corruption Would Be Stifled By HB 38

Pennsylvania Court Corruption Would Be Stifled By HB 38

By Rep. Russ Diamond

Pennsylvania is known for its chocolate, its mountains — and its many opportunities for corruption.

In the days leading to my introduction of House Bill 38, I received the usual and expected rebuttals from mainstream journalists and Harrisburg lobbyists. I was accused of inserting gerrymandering into judicial elections and disenfranchising voters, while at the same time lectured about how “merit selection” (involving a 13-person panel) would somehow not disenfranchise them.

I can’t say I am surprised. As an outsider in Harrisburg, you can always expect pushback from special interests and the media who are always in their pocket.

Still, it makes you wonder why on earth every group of lawyers, journalists, and unions are against a bill that would seek to diversify the geographic makeup of our appellate courts. And then you remember the real problem you were seeking to solve in the first place before all of the “critics” descended: corruption.

My bill would not just diversify the gender, demographic, or geographic makeup of our appellate courts. It would also chop at the deep-seated subversion of justice in Pennsylvania.

Corruption is not something we should tolerate or ignore. It’s an embedded weed that has deep roots and has strangled other plant roots underground along the way.

For too long, Pennsylvanians have been given a raw deal by our judicial system and have been the butt of jokes about our public officials. From House speakers to trial court judges to traffic court judges, to Supreme Court judges, the commonwealth has had its fair share of judicial malpractice and public corruption.

The simple fact of the matter is that Philadelphia and Allegheny have been playing by their own rules while people like my constituents in Lebanon County suffer.

Of the most recent seven appellate court judges convicted or accused of serious crimes, four of them were from Allegheny or Philadelphia. Of the 19 judges on the Pennsylvania Superior Court, the court that decided that Speaker Bill DeWeese and Speaker John Perzel do not need to pay fines for their crimes, 12 of them are from Philadelphia or Allegheny.

You see, the current system of statewide elections for appellate court judges breeds a political class exempted from the rule of law.

Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, the major special interest group pushing against my bill, noted in its own April 2017 study that our commonwealth “has not been a stranger to judicial scandals.” The group perceived the ethics of our higher court judges to be of such concern it issued a report in 2011 on the state’s judicial disciplinary system.

But instead of proposing a decentralization of power that could help prevent such corruption from encompassing government, Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts is proposing to move power away from the voters into the hands of a politically savvy merit selection board.

Real reform gives Pennsylvanians a fair shake instead of rigging it for the politically connected.

That’s why every special interest, media outlet, and lawyer lobbyist is against my bill. Unfortunately for them, they won’t dissuade me and other honest legislators. We will fight to get this bill approved so it becomes a ballot question, giving you a voice and opportunity to end corruption in our judicial system.

Rep. Diamond, a Republican, represents the 102nd District in the Pennsylvania House.

Pennsylvania Court Corruption Would Be Stifled By HB 38

(Note: CAP CEO, Leo Knepper had an opportunity to speak with Rep. Diamond about the proposed amendment on February 1, 2021. The video of the interview can be seen below.)

Pennsylvania Court Corruption Would Be Stifled By HB 38

Pennsylvania Constitutional Amendments Considered

Pennsylvania Constitutional Amendments Considered — Leo Knepper of Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania sent us the below discussion of proposed state constitutional amendments. They are aimed at limiting the use of emergency declarations by the governor and replacing state-wide elections of judges to the Supreme, Commonwealth and Superior courts, with election by district. This would weaken the power the corrupt Philadelphia and Pittsburgh machines have over the judiciary.

They are desperately needed as the governor and the state courts behaved more like those of a banana republic in the last year rather than one that respects rights.

Frankly, the entire Constitution should be rewritten.

“Full time” legislators ought to be replaced by part-time ones compensated solely by per diem with a term of no more than 20 days. Legislative districts should no longer be allowed to include a partial county. More than one county, yes. Partial counties no.

Pennsylvania Constitutional Amendments Considered
Pennsylvania Constitutional Amendments Considered

Crompton Re-election Facing Headwinds

Crompton Re-election Facing Headwinds — J. Andrew Crompton was appointed to Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court a year ago to fill a seat vacated by the retirement of Robert Simpson. This term ends a year from now, which means Crompton’s up for election to a full 10-year-term this November.

He may not have a smooth path in the primary. Crompton is the Republican who on Dec. 30 denied a request by owners of 12 bars and restaurants for an injunction against enforcement of a three-week shutdown order, Dec. 10, by the ever-incompetent Gov. Tom Wolf.

The small business-owners said the order was destroying their lives and livelihoods, and they had no choice but to remain open.

Our heartless governor began levying fines and other costs on them.

The appealed and the case landed before Crompton.

Tough toenails was the verdict.

Yes, the fines and costs remain.

We are hearing that people remember.

Crompton has other issues too.

People do remember.

Commonwealth Court is the intermediate appellate court where cases involving state agencies are heard along with some in which the Commonwealth is a party.

We’d like to re-note that more than half of Pennsylvania’s 20,063 covid-19 deaths come from long-term care facilities and this total would be far less if the Wolf administration had been less incompetent and heartless.

Crompton Re-election Facing Headwinds
Crompton Re-election Facing Headwinds -- J. Andrew Crompton was appointed to Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court a year ago to fill a seat vacated by the

Pennsylvania Court Kicks Greens Off Ballot

Pennsylvania Court Kicks Greens Off Ballot — The Democrat Party minions on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Sept. 16, kicked Green Party presidential candidate Howie Hawkins off the Nov. 3 ballot citing a paperwork error.

Repeat: The judges decided that a paperwork error was enough to throw a guy off the ballot; a guy whose supporters spent hours acquiring the appropriate amount of signatures.

The vote, which overturned a lower court ruling, was 5-2 with only the Republicans dissenting. Not saying the GOP motivations were noble but they were in the right if you believe in honest interpretation of the law, representative government and citizen leaders.

Actually, we remember when a citizen activist got shafted by the court when the Republicans controlled it.

It is beyond apparent that our courts are entirely about politics and the judges don’t give a fig about justice or the rule of law.

Anyway, Bob Small, a Green Party activist from Swarthmore, wrote a poem about the matter which we are publishing.

It should strike a little fear into any Democrat with brains. You know, Donald Trump is probably more of a Green than Joe Biden, at least when it comes to military intervention and trade. Even foreign labor. The USMCA did give Mexican autoworkers a nice raise, you know.

Bob’s poem:

Explain to me
again
why I should vote for the Party that knocked my Party off the Presidential Ballot

Explain to me
why I should vote
against 45
and for –
even though I can only vote for HH
by a write in

Explain to me
how this election
is any different
is any different
from any election since at least 1968 in terms of choice
in terms of choice

Explain to me
how I should hold my nose
and vote for a guy named joe
and maybe next election-
I don’t believe
there’s any explanation this time just like there wasn’t any last time any of the last times
from casey to biden and before

Every other country
even included one named Russia
has alternative Parties on the ballot except- Explain that to me.

And here is the official Green Party press release:

HARRISBURG, PA – In the greatest act of voter suppression since Jim Crow legislation, the Democratic Party has disenfranchised 9 million voters in the Commonwealth by using an amendable paperwork error to remove Howie Hawkins from the Pennsylvania General Election ballot in November.

State election officials informed Green Party officers that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, submission of affidavits by fax copy to the Bureau of Elections, which offices were closed due to the pandemic, would be acceptable.

The Democrats failed at two other attempts to defeat democracy in the Keystone State, including a red herring challenge to the 8,500 signatures collected by the GPPA during the pandemic.  The Democrats falsely claimed the signatures were illegible but dropped the challenge when a simple check of the registered voters’ database demonstrated their deceit.

Not satisfied, the Democrats doubled down their attack by appealing a lower court decision allowing the Green Party candidates to appear on the ballot, to the PA Supreme Court which as a 5 – 2 majority of Democratic Party Judges.

The Democrats claimed that the fax copy violated procedure and thereby made the Green Party candidate ineligible.  In the dissenting opinion, it was made clear that this was an amendable situation and should not bar the Green Party from the November election.    The five Democratic Party judges disagreed.

There are two ways to defeat democracy, one way is by preventing citizens from voting, and the other is by preventing worthy candidates from appearing on the ballot. When the law can be used as a subterranean tool in a process which can only be labeled “political profiling” the meaning and the intent of the law is subverted as is the democracy from which those laws were supposed to have sprung.

Pennsylvania Court Kicks Greens Off Ballot
Pennsylvania Court Kicks Greens Off Ballot

If Democrats Believed In Democracy Why Do They Fear The Greens?

If Democrats Believed In Democracy Why Do They Fear The Greens?

By Bob Small

Do Democrats believe in Democracy?

As Ronald Reagan famously said in 1980, There you go again. This time the Pennsylvania Democratic Party reacts in fear and trembling to the big bad
Pennsylvania Green Party by once again taking them to court to keep them off the Novemember Ballot. As though Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden is afraid of Green Party Presidential Candidate Howie Hawkins. I doubt that, and I doubt he even knows about the Pennsylvania Ballot Access situation. It would be interesting to get his reaction to this, but I’d be willing to bet we’ll never get that.

If Democrats Believed In Democracy Why Do They Fear The Greens?

Probably if you asked him, Joe Biden might think Howie Hawkins was a Pitcher for the Wilmington Blue Rocks minor League baseball Team whom he grooved a pitch to on one opening day.

The Pennsylvania Greens were forced, by a previous court decision, to go out and secure enough Petition Signatures, in this time of Covid, to be on the Ballot. Amazingly, they got three times the amount of required signatures. Amazingly, they still are being challenged. Shouldn’t the Democrats be focused on electing their Candidates rather than- To some of us, it feels like Goliath demanding the Referee measure David’s slingshot for the proper size requirements.

By the way, before anyone talks about the Greens “stealing” the Democratic
Vote, I looked at my personal vote and it said to me that it did not belong to any one political party, it only belongs to me. It does not belong to the Constution Party, Democratic Party, the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, or The Republican Party, If anyone has evidence to the otherwise, duly notarized, please forward it to me.

At a certain age, which I’m not revealing even under executive court order, you start to wonder how many more elections you might have in which to vote. If I can’t choose who to vote for, I can’t help feeling my vote, and my voice, is being “stolen”. Perhaps, if I can’t vote for the Candidate of my choice, maybe I will decline to vote. Some, perhaps, may decide to vote for the other Party Candidate, just out of pure anger.

Some progressives, not only Greens, may see this as Big Party Brutality and may consider this when they come to the polling place and/or mail in their votes.

Some of us need someone to vote for, not someone to vote against. Failing that, you obtain some of the results of previous elections.

So we end up with the question, do Democrats really believe in Democracy or is this another case of false advertising. Further, do we really live in a Democracy?

For more information about the PA. Green Party, go to www.gpofpa.org.

Mr. Small is a resident of Swarthmore

If Democrats Believed In Democracy Why Do They Fear The Greens?
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