Original jurisdiction in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, in case of Milton J. Shapp, Governor, et al., Petitioners v. Grace M. Sloan, Respondent, and The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Intervening Respondent.
Melvin R. Shuster, Deputy Attorney General, with him J. Justin Blewitt, Jr., Deputy Attorney General, Vincent X. Yakowicz, Solicitor General, and Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for petitioners.
James M. Marsh, Chief Counsel, for respondent.
Roland Morris, with him Henry T. Reath, and Duane, Morris & Heckscher, for intervening respondent.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Judge Kramer did not participate. Opinion by President Judge Bowman.
[ 26 Pa. Commw. Page 590]
On July 7, 1976, petitioners*fn1 instituted this action challenging the constitutional validity of two recent Acts of the General Assembly regarding the control and appropriation of Federal augmentation funds.*fn2 The State Treasurer was named as the sole respondent. On July 9, 1976, the law firm of Duane, Morris & Heckscher, purporting to represent the General Assembly, filed an application to allow that body to intervene as a party respondent. Petitioners then filed an answer in opposition to this application. By Order of this Court dated July 13, 1976, intervention was provisionally granted to allow the General Assembly*fn* to participate in a hearing regarding petitioners'
[ 26 Pa. Commw. Page 591]
motion for temporary relief heretofore acted upon by this Court.*fn3 The General Assembly's application to intervene is now before us on the merits.
When the petitioners initially challenged the intervention of the General Assembly and its representation by Duane, Morris & Heckscher, the latter sought and obtained specific written authorization to represent the General Assembly in these proceedings. Such authorization was signed by the President of the Senate, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives.
While petitioners do not dispute the standing or the right of the General Assembly to participate in this litigation, they do question the manner in which such participation is sought in this case as well as the retention of private counsel. Specifically, petitioners urge that the General Assembly can exercise its right to intervene only by statute or joint resolution expressing its collective will and not by authority of its majority leadership alone. Further, petitioners argue that there is no statutory provision for the retention of outside counsel by the legislature and that such retention without said statutory provision violates Article III, Section 17, of the Constitution of Pennsylvania.*fn4
The issues raised by petitioners necessarily involve the internal affairs and functioning of the General Assembly, which ...