Should the Full 7-Member PA Supreme Court Re-Hear Act 13 Case?
The PA townships that sued the State of Pennsylvania last year over a section of the new Act 13 law that prevents towns from slapping their own zoning requirements on top of a uniform state zoning standard sense they may have won at the state Supreme Court level (which will allow them to zone) and are arguing against having oral arguments re-heard by all seven justices.
The original case–arguably one of the most important to come before the state Supreme Court in a long time–was originally heard by seven justices last fall–but one of the seven has since resigned due to campaign fundraising irregularities. The six justices remaining are three Democrats and three Republicans. Court watchers predict the Act 13 case decision will break down along party lines. If it’s a split decision at the Supreme Court level, the lower court ruling which favors the towns will stand. So the towns are arguing they don’t want the case re-heard by a full panel, now that a seventh justice (a Republican) has just taken the bench.