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could hold such court in any of its counties (103). The original jurisdiction of the court is relatively small and relates to cases of injunction where a corporation is a defendant, of habeas corpus, of mandamus to courts of inferior jurisdiction, and of quo warranto as to all officers of the Commonwealth having jurisdiction extending over the State. The court has appellate jurisdiction by appeal, certiorari, or writ of error in all cases, as is now or may hereafter be provided by law (103). An appeal to the supreme court may be made by either party to a civil suit. In order to check numerous and unnecessary appeals in criminal cases (124), the defendant must first obtain permission from one of the judges of the supreme court before the case can be appealed to that tribunal.
When we consider the State courts as a system, commencing with the lowest and ending with the supreme court, it is found that their jurisdiction, both civil and criminal, is unlimited in so far as State law is concerned. There is no appeal from the decisions of the State courts to the United States courts, except in cases in which some point in Federal law arises. In some cases the State courts have concurrent jurisdiction with the United States courts; but whenever the State courts have such jurisdiction, it is control which the State possesses in its own right, independent of the Constitution of the United States.
The Case on Appeal.—The manner of trial of a case on appeal to either the superior court or to the supreme court differs entirely from the original method of procedure before the county courts. None of the witnesses are present, nor is there any jury. No new evidence is admitted. The records of the lowest courts, and the proceedings in the case are presented in printed form for examination. The court reviews the case as thus presented, considers the arguments of the lawyers, made orally or submitted in the form of briefs, and then renders its decision. This must consist of the opinions of a majority of the judges of the court. These decisions are final, except where the Constitution or laws of the United States are concerned, and become the law for all subsequent cases of the same kind so long as they are not reversed. The reports of the decisions of the supreme court are second only to the acts of the General Assembly in importance to those who would know the State laws. The decisions are carefully compiled by the State reporter of the supreme court, and are published by the State.
The supreme court has three prothonotaries, and the State is divided into three districts, eastern, middle, and western. The court sits at Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and Pittsburg; these cities are the seats of justice respectively for the districts named. One term is held annually in each
An Honorable Record.—The salaries paid to the judges of the several courts in Pennsylvania are much higher than the average salaries paid in other States. The terms of office are also longer; that of the judges of the supreme court being exceeded only by the life tenure in Florida, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, and by tenure in New Hampshire with retirement of judges at seventy years of age. These facts have enabled the Commonwealth to secure the services of better men as judges, and the Bench of the State has not been scandalized as elsewhere in the country. The roll of judges has within the past included men who would do honor to any court in any country.
Salaries.—The salaries paid to Pennsylvania judges are as follows:
Chief Justice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $13,500 Judges of the Supreme Court . . . . . . . . . . . 13,000 Judges of the Superior Court . . . . . . . . . . . 12,000
Philadelphia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11,000 Allegheny County .............. 11,000 Dauphin County . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9,000 Districts with population from 250,000 to 500,000 .. . 8,500 Districts with population from 90,000 to 250,000 ... 7,000
All other districts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6,000 Judges of the Orphans' Court receive the same salaries as are
paid to the common pleas judges of the same county (highest) 11,000 State Reporter of Supreme Court . . . . . . . . . 5,000
Name three important powers of the State judiciary.
What is the meaning of trial by jury? When and where did it originate?
What is a grand jury? A petit jury? What is a panel? What is an indictment?
May a man plead his own case in court? May a person's acts be inquired into by the grand jury without his knowing anything about it? May grand jurors reveal the proceedings of the jury? Why?
Why not leave the questions of law to the jury as well as the questions of fact?
What are the names of the different State courts in this Commonwealth?
What is meant by original jurisdiction? By appellate jurisdiction?
Define each of the following terms: quo warranto, writ, jurisdiction, habeas corpus, mandamus, certiorari, and appeal.
Give an account of each of the various grades of State courts. In what courts are the civil cases tried? The criminal cases ? What is the function of the orphans' court? Of the juvenile courts?
How are judges selected in this State?
Who are the recording officers of the State courts? Who are the ministerial officers ?
How are witnesses summoned to appear in court? Are lawyers officers of the court?
Where and when does the superior court of the State hold its sessions? How many judges in this court?
What is the jurisdiction of a county court? Of the superior court? Of the supreme court of the State?
What is the number of judges on the supreme bench of the State? Which is the court of last resort in a State?
How does the trial of a case on an appeal to a higher court differ from the original trial?
Why should the term of office of a judge be longer than that of other officers?
What can you say about the record of our judges?
Where and when does the supreme court of the State hold its sessions ?
Should the judges of the courts be elected or appointed ? To whom would a judge of the supreme court of the State send his resignation if he desired to be relieved ?
How many judicial districts in this State? Why not let each county constitute a judicial district? How many districts have more than one judge?
What provision does the State constitution make concerning separate judicial districts ?
Discuss the topic “Trial by jury has outlived its usefulness.”
Does a decision of the supreme court of the State of New York have any weight in Pennsylvania ?
IMPEACHMENT AND REMOVAL:
OATH OF OFFICE
Origin of Impeachment.—The provisions for the impeachment of public officers come from the custom which prevails in England. Since the times of Edward III. and Richard II., the House of Commons has occasionally exercised the power of impeaching the king's ministers and other public officers. One of Richard's ministers was impeached for corruption in office, and was convicted, although the king had declared previously that he would not, at the prayer of Parliament, dismiss even a scullion from his kitchen. To-day, the king's ministers are responsible to Parliament for their administration of office.
The Power to Impeach: Of Trial.-In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the house of representatives has the sole power of impeachment (128), and the senate has the sole power of trial of the cases which arise (129). When sitting for that purpose, the senators are put upon oath or affirmation. In order to guard against the use of impeachment for political purposes, a two-thirds vote of all the members present is required for conviction. In case of conviction, the judgment cannot extend beyond removal from office and disqualification to hold any office of trust or profit under the Commonwealth; but whether acquitted or convicted, the