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Pennsylvania Constitution in the News – 2000

Allegheny County Solicitor Terry McVerry delivered an opinion to County Council that the Pennsylvania Constitution and the Public School Code forbid the creation of a county-wide tax district for school funding. See Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 15, 2000.

Jack Brubaker’s commentary asks “Why can’t all three of Lancaster County’s Commissioners be Republicans?” The commentary discussed the meaning of Article IX, Section 4, and contrasted it with the provision prior to the 1968 amendment. See Lancaster New Era, November 9, 1999.

On Friday, October 1, 1999, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed a Commonwealth Court ruling that the question of school funding is a nonjusticiable political question. See The Legal Intelligencer, October 5, 1999, at p. 3. See also, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 4, 1999, A 11.

On Monday, July 12, 1999, lawyers argued before Commonwealth Court Judge Kelly that the new Pennsylvania lobbyist law, which is set to take effect on August 1, violates the State Constitution insofar as it regulates lawyers when they are lobbying. This was said to violate the exclusive authority of the State Supreme Court to regulate the practice of law in Pennsylvania. See Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 13, 1999 at B-6.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution allowing video testimony of children was invalid because it contained more than one amendment that could not be voted on separately. See the Pennsylvania Law Weekly, June 21, 1999, at p.1 and The Legal Intelligencer, June 16, 1999, at p.3.