Seamus McCaffery Makes the Rounds With GOP AG Candidate

Seamus McCaffery John Rafferty

L to R: Former Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery and Republican Attorney General candidate John Rafferty at a state Fraternal Order of Police event on August 8th.

Seamus McCaffery, the former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice who resigned after getting caught swapping pornographic emails, is still moving and shaking in Philadelphia’s political scene. He tells us he introduced Republican Attorney General nominee John Rafferty to his friends at a state Fraternal Order of Police conference on August 8th.

That’s the two of them cheesin’ in the photo above, taken at the FOP’s city headquarters in Northeast Philly.

“John and I have been friends for 25 years,” said McCaffery. “We go back to law school days.” Read more »

Philly’s Coffee Can of Justice

Behold, the (highly stylized, obviously) Coffee Can of Justice. (Coffee can:; gavels: iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

Behold, the (highly stylized, obviously) Coffee Can of Justice. (Coffee can:; gavels: iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

Pennsylvania’s kooky practice of electing its judiciary is proving to be a really stupid idea, and not for the first time.

State Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery was forced into early retirement in October by a cascading array of humiliations (his role as porn emailer-in-chief tops among them). The year before, it was Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin resigning before being sentenced to three years of house arrest. Philadelphia’s Traffic Court was so overrun with petty corruption that the state legislature felt compelled to abolish it whole.

In a better-functioning state, these sorts of scandals might lead to reform, and the long-­overdue chucking of judicial elections in favor of merit selection. (Pennsylvania is one of only six states to elect all of its judges in partisan elections, and more than half the states elect no judges at all.) But not here. Read more »

Seamus McCaffery Collects $11,000 Monthly Pension


It’s good to be an ex-judge.

You remember Seamus McCaffery, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice who retired earlier this fall just as the Judicial Conduct Board was beginning an inquiry stemming from the porn email scandal uncovered by Attorney General Kathleen Kane? (The investigation ended when he stepped down.)

Looks like retirement will treat him well: The Associated Press reports McCaffery will collect a $11,000-a-month pension in retirement. That’s on top of cashing out $455,000 of his own contributions, plus interest.
Read more »

Top 10 Pennsylvania Careers Destroyed or Damaged by the Jerry Sandusky Scandal


Now that Seamus McCaffery has retired from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, it’s worth asking: How many significant Pennsylvanians have had their careers destroyed or derailed because of the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State?

The line between Sandusky and McCaffery isn’t a straight one, of course, but: The “racy emails” that ultimately led to his suspension then retirement were discovered by Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s office as it investigated whether her predecessor, Tom Corbett, had done a sufficient job of investigating the Sandusky case in the first place. No Sandusky, no Kane investigation, and maybe McCaffery is spending this week on the bench instead of vacating it.

Here are the Top 10 careers that have been destroyed or damaged, either directly or indirectly, by the Sandusky scandal, ranked by a combination of their relative importance to the entire state and the damage done to their careers. As you can see, the fallout has spread beyond Penn State and fairly widely across several branches of Pennsylvania state government.
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Seamus McCaffery Retires From Pennsylvania Supreme Court


Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery has retired from the Court, reports the Legal Intelligencer. This follows an earlier report by the Daily News‘ Chris Brennan anticipating the move. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court immediately called off a Judicial Conduct Board investigation of McCaffery’s activities, calling it “moot.”

The JCB issued a statement (see below) saying it was dismissing its investigations into McCaffery — including efforts that had been ongoing for “several months.”
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Experts: McCaffery Clearance “Unusual”

We told you Tuesday night that Seamus McCaffery, the (suspended) Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice, had dropped his defamation suit against the Inky. That paper had reported on referral fees McCaffery’s wife took while he was on the bench: The case went away when the paper agreed to report that the U.S. Attorney’s Office had issued a statement clearing McCaffery of wrongdoing in the matter.

The Legal Intelligencer says today that such statements by federal prosecutors are pretty unusual.
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Pa. Supreme Court Cancels Justice McCaffery’s State-Provided Internet, Takes His Computers

There’s a lot about the temporary removal of Justice Seamus McCaffery from the court that almost makes you want to send pornographic emails at work. He’s forbidden to work and he still gets paid? That’s the American dream! Can everyone get that deal just by sending pornographic emails?

But not everything’s great for McCaffery in this deal. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has canceled McCaffery’s state-provided Internet at his home and ordered him to turn in his state-issued computers. Not having computers or Internet in Northeast Philly basically means you live in the late ’80s.

Read more »

When Ron Castille Called Seamus McCaffery a “Sociopath”


Ron Castille and Seamus McCaffery don’t much like each other. Anybody who has paid attention to rivalries on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in recent years knows that.

But McCaffery’s Monday suspension from the court over the “Porngate” scandal was accompanied Monday by a jeremiad from Castille, the court’s chief justice, that displayed a level of enmity rarely seen in American public life anymore.

Here are five of the most dramatic statements from Castille’s Monday concurring statement, which mostly agrees with the order to suspend McCaffery from his duties while the Judicial Conduct Board investigates:
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McCaffery Temporarily Relieved of Duties

seamus mccaffery

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery has been relieved of his duties while the Judicial Conduct Board conducts a fast-track investigation into his involvement in the so-called Porngate scandal in Harrisburg.

McCaffery will be paid during his time away from the court.

The order goes beyond the circumstances of Porngate, however, as the order from the Supreme Court of the Western District of Pennsylvania suggests several matters in which McCaffery’s conduct will be investigated:
Read more »

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