The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that two state GOP leaders still have no place in the court battle regarding Act 13, the law governing Marcellus Shale drilling.
State Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati and Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Samuel H. Smith, both Republicans, had sought to intervene in the Act 13 challenge.
But the Commonwealth Court “held that the legislators did not have a legally enforceable interest in the action.”
The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday, affirming the ruling.
In the order, the Supreme Court wrote:
Following review of the briefs submitted, the Order of the Commonwealth Court is hereby AFFIRMED.
In this matter, the legislators offer that their purpose for intervening is to defend the constitutionality of Act 13, and to offer evidence and argument with respect to the intent of the General Assembly in enacting Act 13 and to
the procedure by which Act 13 was adopted.
As articulated, the legislators’ interest implicates neither a defense of the power or authority of their offices nor a defense of the potency of their right to vote.
Rather, the legislators simply seek to offer their perspective on the correctness of governmental conduct, i.e., that the General Assembly did not violate the substantive and procedural strictures of the Pennsylvania Constitution in enacting Act 13.
…The interest articulated is not sufficient to support the party standing of legislators in a legal action challenging the constitutionality of a legislative enactment.