GAMBLOR: PA Supreme Court Continues Curiously Unbroken String Of Pro-Casino Rulings

corruptjudge.gifINQUIRER: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the SugarHouse Casino could be built on the city’s waterfront in Fishtown, reversing an attempt by the Nutter administration to stymie the project. The court decided, 4-2 with one abstention, that the city could not revoke the license giving SugarHouse the authority to build over the Delaware River that was issued during the last days of Mayor John F. Street’s administration. “We’re grateful to the Supreme Court for ruling in our favor,” Greg Carlin, chief executive officer of HSP Gaming, the developer of SugarHouse, said in an interview. He did not give specifics on when construction of the $700 million project on Delaware Avenue at Shackamaxon Street would begin. City Hall’s reaction was, as expected, glum. MORE

RELATED: The League of Women Voters yesterday sued Pennsylvania’s previous chief justice, alleging that the high court upheld the state’s slot-machine- gambling law in exchange for approval of a judicial pay raise. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Harrisburg, named former Supreme Court Chief Justice Ralph J. Cappy and cited allegations and information provided by unnamed legislators. The suit said Cappy used secret meetings with legislators to negotiate the ruling on the slots law and a pay raise for more than 1,000 judges, including himself and six other Supreme Court justices. If true, the alleged deal would represent a violation of the league’s constitutional rights to due process, since the league was one of the groups that filed that lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state’s 2004 law that legalized slot machines. The state Supreme Court largely ruled against the league’s lawsuit in June 2005, although it struck down three small provisions in the sprawling law. Two weeks later, the Legislature approved a substantial pay raise for judges, legislators and some executive-branch officials. MORE

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