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Caselaw 2014

Article I. Declaration of Rights

Section 5: Elections

Applewhite v. Commonwealth. --- A.3d ---, 2014 WL 184988 (Pa. Cmwlth. January 17, 2014): per McGinley, J., the court held that the Voter ID law, Act 18, unduly burdens the fundamental right to vote afforded by Article 1, Section 5 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, but does not violate the equal protection provided Sections 1 and 26 of the state constitution.

Section 8: Security from Searches and Seizures

Commonwealth v. Gary, --- A.3d ---, 2014 WL 1686766 (Pa. Apr. 29, 2014): per McCaffery, J., the court held that the federal automobile exception will apply to warrantless searches of motor vehicles under Article 1, Section 8 of the Pennsylvania Constitution. Therefore, police need only probable cause when conducting such a search.

Section 11: Courts to be Open; Suits Against the Commonwealth

Telwell, Inc. v. Pub. Sch. Employees' Ret. Sys., 88 A.3d 1079 (Pa. Cmwlth. Apr. 2, 2014): per Jubelirer, J., the court held that "the clear and unambiguous language of" 62 Pa.C.S.A. § 102(f.1) gave the Public School Employees' Retirement System (PSERS) "sovereign immunity pursuant" to Article 1, Section 11 of the Pennsylvania Constitution and 62 Pa.C.S.A. § 1702(b) for suits involving loans made by the agency.

Section 28: Prohibition Against Denial or Abridgment of Equality of Rights because of Sex

Beattie v. Line Mountain School Dist. --- F.Supp.2d ---- 2014 WL 131637 (United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania. January 13, 2014): per Brann, Matthew W., District Judge, the court held that the Pennsylvania Constitution's Equal Protection clause requires a showing that gender classifications "must not rely on overbroad generalizations about the different talents, capabilities, or preferences of Males and Females." For that reason, the school board must show genuine justification explaining why prohibiting a girl from competing on boy's wrestling team is not based purely on gender classifications and substanially related to an important government interest. The court finds that the proposed government interests fail to meet this standard and grants an injunction prohibiting the school board from interfering with the child's joining of the wrestling team.

Article VI. Public Officers 

Section 7: Removal of Civil Officers

In re Humane Society of Harrisburg Area, Inc., --- A.3d ---, 2014 WL 2534923 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2014): per Leadbetter, J., held that a DUI offence by Humane Society police officer committed five years before he was appointed was not an "infamous crime" under Article VI, Section 7 of the Pennsylvania Constitution. Judge Leadbetter held that the DUI conviction was not "a felony, a crimen falsi offense, or a like offense involving the charge or falsehood that affects the public administration of justice."