Philadelphia partner Alicia D. Hickok was quoted in a Law360 article titled, “Eakin Resignation May Help Pa. High Court’s Battered Image.” The article discussed the sudden resignation of Justice J. Michael Eakin.
Alicia commented on the amount of turnover the court has seen in recent years, with the departure of Chief Justice Ronald Castille, Justice Correale Stevens, and two other justices who were forced from the bench for violating judicial ethics rules. “It’s absolutely unprecedented,” said Alicia. “It’s a tremendous amount of turnover. In essence, you’re talking about almost the entire court.”
Alicia also commented on how Justice Eakin’s resignation leaves the Supreme Court with the possibility of appeals being decided by a 3-to-3 split. “It’s a relatively rare occurrence, but this does re-raise the specter of having decisions that are affirmed by an equally divided court,” she said. While skeptical that the governor and Senate will set aside their differences to agree on an appointment to the Court, she emphasized how important it is to appoint a new justice.