CHIEF JUSTICE RON CASTILLE was dealt a lethal blow by his fellow Supremes when they dislodged him as Philadelphia Court Administrator. Apparently they felt he was acting too independently and keeping them out of the loop. So they voted Central Pennsylvania’s MICHAEL EAKIN in.
The Supremes are also rumored to not have liked the way Justice Castille leaked his report on Traffic Court to the media. He allowed his colleague JUSTICE SEAMUS McCAFFERY to take a gut punch on a traffic-ticket issue involving his wife. The two have been in a turf war but the justices may have disapproved of playing such a fight out in public.
But Justice Castille will apparently fight on. He has announced he’s running for reelection even though he’s 69. He will only have a one-year term if he wins, since the mandatory retirement age is 70. This move may allow GOV. TOM CORBETT to appoint a replacement. It would not be a stretch to anticipate a non-Philadelphian’s being appointed. Thus, Justice Castille could be further jeopardizing Philadelphia’s statewide influence. That influence has been dwindling steadily in the last several years.
Martin Luther King Day is, among other things, an occasion to honor contemporary leaders who continue in the King’s tradition of public service. For her services to union causes, COUNCILWOMAN JANNIE BLACKWELL received a coveted award at the national AFL-CIO’s high-visibility confab in town this past weekend. STATE SEN. SHIRLEY KITCHEN was honored by Philadelphia Council of Clergy for her dogged advocacy of the needs of ex-offenders.
ABBE FLETMAN, a highly respected member of the LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) community is running for Common Pleas Court. So are JIM CRUMLISH III, DAN McCAFFERY and CHRISTINE HOPE. The list will grow exponentially as the weeks go by. Then, when the ballet positions are chosen, the number of candidates will be dramatically reduced. There is no election where ballot position is more important than for judge in the city of Philadelphia. The statistics back it up: It’s hard to get elected with bad ballot position.