PA Supreme Court: Sorry, GOP Leaders, You Cannot Intervene in Act 13 Case

State Sen. Joe Scarnati, seen here with Gov. Tom Corbett, left, has no legal standing to intervene in the Act 13 legal battle, the Supreme Court affirmed Tuesday

State Sen. Joe Scarnati, seen here with Gov. Tom Corbett, left, has no legal standing to intervene in the Act 13 legal battle, the Supreme Court affirmed Tuesday

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.

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2 thoughts on “PA Supreme Court: Sorry, GOP Leaders, You Cannot Intervene in Act 13 Case

  1. Jill Downey says:

    Thank you for this piece of good news!! We met wlth Scarnati last Friday & he was unwilling to listen to any other perspcetive but pro-marcellus drilling & when one of our group members challanged him on the unconstitutionality of act 13 he got very defensive & angry! He is not representing the best interests of the people who elected him! Nor is gov. Corbett! We need to get them both out of office ASAP! One need only follow the money trail of contributions to campaigns by the frackers to see how our government is being bought by the gas industries! And Scarnati portrays himself as a good ole home town boy! What a joke!

  2. Amanda, thanks for the update and especially good news. I still tend to worry, because I see what they were able to do in Colorado, Texas, and other states to get their way. Lets cross our fingers and hope that we are getting through to those who bought into the propaganda.
    Thanks again Amanda.
    Ed Vicheck

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