Philadelphia City Hall was abuzz on Wednesday as lawyers presented oral arguments – concerning the alleged leaks made by Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane – in front of the State Supreme Court.
When Kane exited a back row of the courtroom, a frenzy of cameras and reporters followed her out with questions coming from every angle.
Kane said she is “cautiously hopeful” about her situation.
Thomas E. Carluccio, the special prosecutor of Kane, made arguments in defense of his own appointment by Montgomery County GOP Judge William Carpenter. In December, Carluccio urged the Montgomery County District Attorney, Risa Vetri Ferman to charge Kane with perjury, official oppression and other offenses.
The State Supreme Court has forbade Vetri Ferman, a Republican, from taking action until it reached a ruling on Kane’s appeal. The charges would be dropped if Kane wins.
Kane’s lawyer, Joseph Del Sole, argued against Carluccio’s appointment on the grounds that it was the product of an illegal process. He contends that Carpenter can’t appoint a special prosecutor. He said that the proper procedure would be to “send it to a district attorney or the attorney general and then let them proceed.”
Carluccio cited prior cases in support of Carpenter’s right to do what he did. One of those cases came in 2008 when the Supreme Court ruled it was lawful for a Dauphin County judge to appoint a special prosecutor to determine the source of leaked information. This case is believed to be the backbone of his argument.
Chief Justice Saylor appeared to agree with Carluccio’s case but Justices Baer and Stevens asked probing questions. With just five justices currently on the Court, however, it is difficult to decipher what their ultimate verdict will be.
There is no set timetable for when a decision will be reached and announced.