The Supreme Court is the highest court in the land, but no justice, even Antonin Scalia, is apparently safe on the streets of Philadelphia when it comes to its Parking Authority.
The Philadelphia Parking Authority is nationally known because of its starring role for five years in “Parking Wars,” the popular cable TV shows that depicts everyday life for PPA workers and the citizens of Philly.
And on Monday, one of the citizens who will interact with the PPA in the near future appears to be Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia.
Scalia was in Philadelphia at the Union League of Philadelphia, the private club best known outside the city for its role in the Eddie Murphy film Trading Places.
Dean Picciotti sent us a picture of Scalia’s official car, parked at the League, with a brand-new PPA ticket on its windshield placed by an attentive parking enforcement officer at lunchtime.
Scalia’s car was ticketed despite the presence of an official police business placard on its dashboard.
Later in the day, the Philadelphia Inquirer spoke with a PPA official about five hours after we first reported the story locally. A Supreme Court official confirmed to the Inquirer that ticket was given to Scalia’s car. It was apparently in a no-loading zone.
Ironically, the Parking Authority is one of the few GOP-dominated institutions in Philadelphia, a city long controlled by Democrats.
Scalia is one of the most conservative Supreme Court justices. He frequently votes on issues that find favor with Republicans.
But in this case, the PPA was definitely nonpartisan.
According to the PPA’s website, the parking violation was the lowest of three violations. Other violations will cause the PPA to put the dreaded “boot” on a car, or tow it away. Fines start at $26.
There is an appeals process for disputing a violation. The justice could, in theory, send a representative to contest the violation.
But we aren’t sure if the ticket would be called a tax, a fine or a penalty if the case moves forward!
Scott Bomboy is the editor-in-chief of the National Constitution Center.
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