Original jurisdiction in case of Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, Asa D. Burkholder, Leon Lankford and Vince Carpenter v. Richard L. Thornburgh, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Robert E. Casey, Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Al Benedict, Auditor General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Ethel D. Allen, Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Thomas L. Wenger, with him Wix, Wenger & Weidner, for petitioners.
Robert B. Hoffman, Deputy Attorney General, with him Norman J. Watkins, Deputy Attorney General, and Edward G. Biester, Jr., Attorney General, for respondents.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers, Craig and MacPhail. Judges Blatt and DiSalle did not participate. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson, Jr. Judge MacPhail dissents.
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In this case, the Pennsylvania Association of Township Supervisors and three named township supervisors in behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated have filed a petition for review in this Court's
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original jurisdiction, naming as respondents the Governor, Treasurer, Auditor General,*fn1 Secretary of the Commonwealth and the county boards of elections and district attorneys as a class. The petition asserted that the Act of October 4, 1978, P.L. 883, as amended, 65 P.S. § 401 et seq., known as the "Public Officials Ethics Law" (hereafter the Act) violated various provisions of the Pennsylvania and United States Constitutions and sought a decree declaring the Act unconstitutional, void and unenforceable. Specifically, petitioners sought to enjoin respondents from implementing or enforcing the Act, authorizing or approving payments therefor, appointing members to the Ethics Commission (Commission) created pursuant to the Act or requiring proof of filing financial disclosure statements with the Commission by candidates for township supervisor.
On March 1, 1979, this Court denied petitioners' motion for a preliminary injunction to enjoin the filing of financial statements inasmuch as the effective date of the Act as to the requirement of filing such statements by candidates had been postponed until August 1, 1979. Act of February 26, 1979, P.L. , No. 1. Respondents then lodged preliminary objections raising questions of jurisdiction and in the nature of a demurrer. We will sustain the preliminary objections in the nature of a demurrer*fn2 and dismiss this action.
In Snider v. Shapp, 45 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 337, 405 A.2d 602 (1979), an essentially similar case filed
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by three school directors, this Court held that the Act possessed none of the constitutional infirmities alleged by petitioners and therefore sustained respondents' preliminary objections. To those claims raised by petitioners here that the Act denies petitioners due process and equal protection of the law, infringes on petitioners' right to serve in public office, is vague and overbroad, infringes on petitioners' rights of privacy and freedom from unreasonable searches, unlawfully discriminates against married persons and provides for an unconstitutional exercise of the power of appointment we find our decision in Snider, supra, controlling.
The only remaining allegations raised by petitioners in this case are that the Act presents an unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority and unlawfully discriminates against elected local officials vis a vis some elected state officials because some state officials participate in the appointment of Commission members. Petitioners' challenge on these bases is broad and general. Although their petition does not identify any ...