Posted Oct 18th, 2014 02:30 PM by AVN Staff
LOS ANGELES—Porn continues to bring out the worst in Pennsylvania public officials, including its most esteemed jurists. Friday brought a new low in the porn scandal that has rocked not only Pennsylvania’s race for governor but the very foundation of the state’s judiciary, its Supreme Court, which is being described as "in meltdown” following the initial revelation that one of its justices was an active participant in “porngate.” Indeed, things seems to be getting exponentially worse on a daily basis, as what began as a public bloodletting between feuding state officials that ensnared a number of state bureacrats (forcing some to quit/retire) has now deteriorated to the point where members of the high court are questioning its continued viability as a trusted institution.
As dramatic as the week has been, yesterday took “Porngate” to new lows. As the Philadelphia Inquirer reported yesterday, “A skirmish between two rival Pennsylvania Supreme Court justices over pornographic e-mails erupted Friday into a full-court brawl, with a third justice stopping just short of lobbing blackmail accusations, and other colleagues fretting that the fighting had begun to erode the public's confidence in the bench.”
Perhaps the good news is that porn has helped rip the façade off a Supreme Court seemingly rotting from the inside, with Justices more likely to engage in backstabbing their colleagues on the bench than working with them in an atmosphere of respectful collegiality. "Fuck that" seems to be the court’s motto, along with a presiding ethic that says that shared values and mutual respect are for pussies.
But it also seems that the façade that porn has helped destroy was really only that to outsiders. To the local media, and certainly to the state’s political and judicial elite, this scandal, however one views it, is just the latest chapter in a long narrative of judicial missteps. As the Inquirer was forced to note, “Outsiders hardly knew what to make of the messy display from a court that has become uncomfortably used to public airing of its private business. It was only last year when Joan Orie Melvin was convicted and booted from the bench for using legislative and judicial staff to work on her Supreme Court campaign.”
That sense of familiarity may now have morphed into one of inevitability and resignation. As one local educator, Bruce Ledewitz, a law professor at Duquesne University, put it, "I have to teach my students respect for the institution of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. They make it difficult. The people of Pennsylvania are very likely to look at this, throw up their hands, and say, 'It's not fixable.'”
That may be, but hopefully they won't blame porn for this painful debacle. That would be like blaming the messenger, only in this case porn has been used as a patsy of sorts, a tool used to shame and destroy a variety of rivals. In that sense, porn, rather than being an active participant, is more like an innocent bystander in the public evisceration of careers and maybe even the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
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