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PA's high court upholds jury commissioner law

Written by The Associated Press | Oct 18, 2013 11:57 AM
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(Harrisburg) -- The Pennsylvania Supreme Court says the Legislature didn't violate the separation of powers doctrine when it passed a law letting counties abolish their elected jury commissioners.

The six-justice majority said in an opinion released Friday that the law passed in April concerned county positions, not judicial officers, meaning lawmakers didn't infringe upon the judicial branch. The decision was announced last month.

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Debra Todd says state laws that address how to select jurors envision the two commissioners joined by the president judge, so doing away with them means counties could adopt a variety of approaches.

Todd says the jury commissioner abolishment law might disrupt the court system. She'd either overturn the law or have the Supreme Court issue new rules about how to pick jurors.

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