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Pennsylvania

Reformers seek Supreme Court Justice Orie Melvin recusal

| Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012

HARRISBURG — Several reform groups today called on Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin, of Marshall, to step back from a legislative redistricting case the high court will hear on Monday.

They argued she should recuse herself because her sister, Sen. Jane Orie, R-McCandless, is affected by the legislation. Others claimed she should resign or take a leave of absence because of a pending criminal investigation of Melvin's conduct. Jane Orie and her sister Janine, a former court employee of Melvin's, are accused of using taxpayers' resources to help Melvin campaign for the Supreme Court.

Melvin is already recusing herself from any criminal cases from Allegheny County. Citizens have "a right to have a justice who does the job, the whole job and nothing but the job," said Timothy Potts, co-founder of Democracy Rising PA.

Melvin could not be reached for comment.

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