According to the Legal Intelligencer, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued an order denying a petition from Justice Joan Orie Melvin for the recusal of entire Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas from hearing the criminal case against her. The per curium order did not indicate whether any of the six justices refrained from participating in the decision. There was no accompanying opinion.
Justice Orie Melvin is facing criminal charges stemming from her alleged use of her court employees as well as court resources in her 2003 and 2009 re-election campaigns. Her request for recusal was predicated on the argument that a key prosecution witness was married to an Allegheny County judge.
Justice Orie Melvin’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 30. Four court administrators and State Supreme Court Justice Max Baer requested that Judge Jeffrey A. Manning throw out subpoenas issued by Justice Orie Melvin’s attorney that would require them to appear and produce documents, including employment records and personnel files dating back 25 years. Justice Orie Melvin is also seeking information related to Supreme Court orders from 1987 and 1998 regarding partisan political activity.