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COMMONWEALTH EX REL. HANSON v. REITZ. (04/18/61)

THE SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


April 18, 1961

COMMONWEALTH EX REL. HANSON, APPELLANT,
v.
REITZ.

Appeal, No. 171, March T., 1960, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Cambria County, March T., 1960, No. 846, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ex rel. James Hanson et al. v. Warren G. Reitz et al. Judgment reversed.

COUNSEL

Norman A. Krumenacker, with him Gleason & Krumenacker, for appellants.

Samuel R. DiFrancesco, with him Gilbert E. Caroff, for appellees.

Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Bok and Eagen, JJ.

[ 403 Pa. Page 435]

OPINION PER CURIAM.

A majority of the court is of opinion that the rationale of our decision in Watson v. Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, 386 Pa. 117, 125 A.2d 354, as applied by the decision for the court in Bowers v. Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, 402 Pa. 542, 167 A.2d 480, determines the construction to be placed on Section 6 of the Urban Redevelopment Law of May 24, 1945, P.L. 991, 35 PS §§ 1705-1706, here involved, and that the mayor of a third class city lacks power to

[ 403 Pa. Page 436]

    remove from office at his pleasure appointed members of an Authority created under that Act.

Disposition

The judgment of the court below is reversed and the record remanded for further proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion.

Mr. Justice MUSMANNO dissents.

ING OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE COHEN:

Most disquieting still is the evident facility with which the majority repudiates, without mentioning, two well-considered unanimous opinions of the full membership of this court in Commonwealth ex rel. Reinhardt v. Randall, 356 Pa. 302, 51 A.2d 751 (1947), and Commonwealth ex rel. Houlahen v. Flynn, 348 Pa. 101, 34 A.2d 59 (1943). (See Justice B. R. JONES' dissent in Bowers v. Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, 402 Pa. 542, 167 A.2d 354 (1961).) I can only conclude that this is an obvious effort to bolster its own interpretation of Article VI, § 4 of the Commonwealth's Constitution. This interpretation contravenes the clear language of the Constitution which means just what it says, that "Appointed officers may be removed at the pleasure of the [appointing] power." (See my dissent in Bowers v. Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, supra.)

19610418

© 1998 VersusLaw Inc.



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