News & Brews August 26, 2022

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Polls ‘paint complicated picture’ of governor, U.S. Senate races

The Inquirer reports that as polls begin to come out, “[a] complicated picture of the races for U.S. Senate and governor is starting to form.” That’s because recent polls seem to show a tightening of the margins as compared with polls over the summer, which showed more comfortable leads for Fetterman and Shapiro. Of course, with polls, it’s also important to look at whether they survey “registered” or “likely” voters as well as how many voters statewide are polled. E.g. a poll of 1,000 likely voters is preferable to a poll of 500 registered voters.

Pa. Supreme Court allows jury-mandering

Yesterday, in a trial lawyer’s dream, the state Supreme Court reversed a near-20-year-old rule that required that medical malpractice cases be filed in the county where alleged harm took place. The ruling endorses jury-mandering, in which trial lawyers can pick the counties most likely to award huge settlements—i.e. Philadelphia. Zach Shamberg, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association, called the decision “a dramatic step backwards” that “could ultimately disrupt the sustainability of our industry as we know it.” And Curt Schroder of the Pennsylvania Coalition for Civil Justice Reform warned the rule change could plunge Pa. into another medical liability insurance crisis such as that which occurred in the late 1990s. Meanwhile, trial lawyers are thrilled. The AP has more.

Pa. High Court blocks lawmakers from intervening in case on constitutional amendments

The state Supreme Court has blocked the four legislative caucuses from intervening in Gov. Wolf’s lawsuit seeking to block voters from voting on proposed amendments to our state constitution. Instead, the court said each caucus should submit an amicus brief, but only Senate Republicans and House Democrats filed a brief by the August 24 deadline, the Post-Gazette reports.

Counties comply with order to count undated mail-in ballots

The three counties at the center of a lawsuit over undated mail-in ballots have complied with the recent Commonwealth Court order to count those ballots. The LNP reports that Lancaster, Berks, and Fayette counties confirmed yesterday that they submitted updated, certified vote counts—including the undated ballots—to the Department of State. Read more here.

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