Kevin Dougherty sworn in to changing Pa. Supreme Court

Written by The Associated Press | Jan 6, 2016 2:10 AM

Kevin Dougherty speaks after he was sworn in as a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Dougherty and other new members join a court that has been roiled by scandal in recent years. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(Harrisburg) -- Pennsylvania's newest state Supreme Court justice is a former Philadelphia judge who was the top vote-getter in the November election that saw three new Democrats added to the high court.

Justice Kevin Dougherty took the oath of office Tuesday from Chief Justice Thomas Saylor at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. 

He's taking one of seven seats on the court while one is vacant because Justice Michael Eakin is suspended with pay.

Eakin is awaiting trial before the state's judicial ethics court. 

He is accused of bringing the court into disrepute through participation in the exchange of bawdy, denigrating and otherwise objectionable emails. 

The Supreme Court had three Republicans and two Democrats as last year ended, but the new members give Democrats an edge of 5 to 2, counting Eakin. 

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