We're proud to provide coverage of all three state appellate courts. In September of 2011, we televised the PA Supreme Court's session for the first time. We also televise en banc sessions from the Superior and Commonwealth Courts.
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An Article from PA Courts Producer, Todd Abele
PCN Celebrates 20 Years of Appellate Court Coverage
By: Todd Abele, Producer at PCN
Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) is celebrating its 40th Anniversary of providing public affairs coverage of state government in 2019, but it’s also PCN’s 20th year of providing complete and unedited coverage of Pennsylvania’s appellate courts.
On April 30, 1999, PCN aired its first session of appellate court coverage – en banc arguments before the Pennsylvania Superior Court, an intermediate appeals court. During that first session, President Judge Stephen J. McEwen presided. Superior Court sits en banc several times a year.
When larger issues of state law are in question, interested parties can file an appeal to one of three state appellate courts, which are comprised of a panel of judges, typically seven or nine, that sit on the bench (en banc) as a group to decide a specific question of law posed by a case.
Five and a half years later, in November, 2004, Commonwealth Court welcomed PCN’s cameras into its en banc sessions. In addition to hearing appeals, Commonwealth Court is also an original jurisdiction court that can hear disputes involving state agencies and election-related matters. Commonwealth Court typically conducts en banc arguments nine times a year in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Philadelphia.
Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court allowed PCN to televise its sessions starting on September 13, 2011. This first session was recorded at the Old Supreme Court Chamber adjacent to Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court primarily hears appeals from Pennsylvania’s two intermediate appeals courts, and also reviews all death sentences imposed in Pennsylvania. The court sits en banc at least 12 times a year, sometimes more, in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Philadelphia. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court first held session in 1684, making it the first established Supreme Court in the nation.
PCN’s coverage shows viewers how the court systems work firsthand, allows them to learn about complex constitutional matters, and increases transparency and understanding of the appellate court process.
Check PCN’s Appellate Court Schedule for air times in the days and weeks after oral arguments take place, and watch Pennsylvania Courts coverage at 10 p.m. on Sunday nights when recently argued en banc sessions are re-aired.
Appeals court decisions are typically handed down three to nine months after they are argued.
ON DEMAND - PA Supreme Court