Cover image for The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania: Life and Law in the Commonwealth, 1684–2017 Edited by John J. Hare

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

Life and Law in the Commonwealth, 1684–2017

Edited by John J. Hare

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$74.95 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-08011-6

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456 pages
7" × 10"
25 b&w illustrations
2018

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

Life and Law in the Commonwealth, 1684–2017

Edited by John J. Hare

“This book successfully achieves what most of its kind cannot—it both educates and inspires. John Hare and his remarkable team of contributors address diverse historical and contemporary topics in a way that generations of lawyers and historians will both enjoy and treasure. This terrific book preserves, unlike any other, the incredible legacy of our Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.”

 

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  • Bio
  • Table of Contents
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Established in 1684, over a century before the Commonwealth, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court is the oldest appellate court in North America. This balanced, comprehensive history of the Court examines over three centuries of legal proceedings and cases before the body, the controversies and conflicts with which it dealt, and the impact of its decisions and of the case law its justices created

Introduced by constitutional scholar Ken Gormley, this volume describes the Supreme Court’s structure and powers and focuses at length on the Court’s work in deciding notable cases of constitutional law, civil rights, torts, criminal law, labor law, and administrative law. Through three sections, “The Structure and Powers of the Supreme Court,” “Decisional Law of the Supreme Court,” and “Reporting Supreme Court Decisions,” the contributors address the many ways in which the Court and its justices have shaped life and law in Pennsylvania and beyond. They consider how it has adjudicated new and complex issues arising from some of the most notable events and tragedies in American history, including the struggle for religious liberty in colonial Pennsylvania, the Revolutionary War, slavery, the Johnstown Flood, the Homestead Steel Strike and other labor conflicts, both World Wars, and, more recently, the dramatic rise of criminal procedural rights and the expansion of tort law.

Featuring an afterword by Chief Justice Saylor and essays by leading jurists, deans, law and history professors, and practicing attorneys, this fair-minded assessment of the Court is destined to become a criterion volume for lawmakers, scholars, and anyone interested in legal history in the Keystone State and the United States.

“This book successfully achieves what most of its kind cannot—it both educates and inspires. John Hare and his remarkable team of contributors address diverse historical and contemporary topics in a way that generations of lawyers and historians will both enjoy and treasure. This terrific book preserves, unlike any other, the incredible legacy of our Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.”
“A fascinating and important collection tracing the many ways in which the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has shaped the history of the Commonwealth and the nation since its inception in 1684. Taken as a whole, this volume instantly assumes its place as the most comprehensive and wide-ranging historical treatment of the procedural and jurisprudential development of the Court available, and it provides researchers and scholars with views of the Court’s 333-year history that are both celebratory and critically analytical.”

John J. Hare is an attorney and the coauthor of Keystone of Justice: The Pennsylvania Superior Court, 1895–1995.

Contents

Foreword (John J. Hare)

Introduction: The History of a Time-Honored Court (Kenneth G. Gormley)

Part 1: The Structure and Powers of the Supreme Court

1. (S)electing Judges in Pennsylvania (Charles L. Becker and Ruxandra M. Laidacker)

2. The King’s Bench Powers (William S. Stickman IV)

3. The Power of Rulemaking (Renée Cohn Jubelirer, Robert L. Byer, and Meredith E. Carpenter)

4. The Supreme Court’s Singular Criminal Procedure Work in a Pivotal Era (James A. Shellenberger and James A. Strazzella)

5. Supervising and Regulating the Practice of Law (Thomas G. Wilkinson Jr. and Roger B. Meilton)

6. Supervising and Regulating the Judiciary (Roger B. Meilton and Thomas G. Wilkinson Jr.)

7. The Development and Improvement of Pennsylvania’s Judicial Computer System (Joseph A. Del Sole, Amy Ceraso, and Thomas B. Darr.)

Image Gallery

Part 2: Decisional Law of the Supreme Court

Section 1: Constitutional Law and Civil Rights

8: The Supreme Court and the Separation of Powers Under the Pennsylvania Constitution (Howard J. Bashman)

9. The Supreme Court and Religious Liberty: The Competing Visions of William Penn and Chief Justice John Bannister Gibson (Gary S. Gildin)

10. Free Expression Versus Reputation: The Supreme Court’s Weighing of Interests (Carl A. Solano and Edward J. Sholinsky)

11. Women on the Court and the Court on Women (Deborah L. Brake and Susan Frietsche)

12. Article I, Section 28 of the Pennsylvania Constitution: Prohibiting the Denial or Abridgment of Equality of Rights Because of Sex (Phyllis W. Beck and Michele Hudzicki-Grimmig)

13. The Supreme Court’s Enforcement of Antidiscrimination Laws (Teresa Ficken Sachs)

14. The Supreme Court and the Contours of State and Federal Power in Revolutionary Pennsylvania (John J. Hare)

Section 2: Tort Law

15. The Floodgates of Strict Liability: The Johnstown Flood of 1889, the Supreme Court, and the Rise of Modern American Tort Law (Jed H. Shugerman)

16. The Supreme Court and Medical Malpractice Law (Charles L. Becker, Shanin Specter, and Thomas R. Kline)

17. The Ebb and Flow of the Law: The Supreme Court’s Product Liability Jurisprudence (James M. Beck)

18. Clash of Titans: The Supreme Court and Product Liability (Clifford A. Rieders and Pamela L. Shipman)

Section 3: Criminal Law

19. The 1778–1779 Chester and Philadelphia Treason Trials: The Supreme Court as Trial Court (Carlton F. W. Larson)

20. Slavery and the Supreme Court: High Court Justices and the Problem of Fundamental Justice (Paul Finkelman)

21. When Felons Don’t Kill: The Felony Murder Rule in Pennsylvania (Arthur G. LeFrancois)

Section 4: Labor Law and Economic Rights

22. The Supreme Court and the Labor Movement (Jeffrey P. Bauman)

23. The Homestead Lockout of 1892 and Jurisprudence in Pennsylvania (Melvyn Dubofsky)

24. Defining the Role of the Legislature in Regulating the Economy (Vincent C. Deliberato Jr.)

Section 5: Administrative Law

25. The Supreme Court and Administrative Law (John L. Gedid)

Afterword (Thomas G. Saylor)

Appendix A: The Reports of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania (Joel Fishman)

Appendix B: Historical List of Supreme Court Justices

Index

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