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Supreme Court Upholds State Law Allowing Abolitions Of Jury Commissioner Posts

September 18, 2013

The state Supreme Court on Tuesday affirmed a ruling by Commonwealth Court that had upheld a state law that allows county commissioners to vote to abolish the positions of jury commissioners.

The ruling came in an appeal by the Pennsylvania State Association of County Commissioners, and will be followed by the release of the highest court’s opinions in their 6-1 vote.

The Supreme Court had struck down an earlier similar law, which the judges said violated a Constitutional requirement that new laws be restricted to one topic.  State lawmakers immediately approved a revised version of the legislation, and it was signed into law by Governor Tom Corbett.

Meanwhile, some of the updated decisions regarding the law occurred following the spring primary elections, and a state court ruled that county political party officials may nominate their own candidates for the posts in the November general elections.  However, once the second version of the law was enacted, the county commissioners in many counties, including Venango and Clarion Counties, voted to abolish the jury commissioner posts.  In Crawford County, meanwhile, the county commissioners decided to retain the jury commissioner posts for another term, pending the resolution of the court appeal.

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