The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has agreed to hear an important legal challenge in a case involving Governor Ed Rendell's hiring of a plaintiffs contingent fee law firm to sue a drug manufacturer on behalf of the state. The lawsuit concerns a Houston-based law firm that was hired by the Rendell administration to sue Janssen Pharmaceuticals over the marketing of its antipsychotic drug Risperdal. One of the main issues in this case is the appearance that pay-to-sue politics was involved because the firm was only formally retained after it reportedly made more than $90,000 in political donations to Governor Rendell's 2006 re-election campaign. The court is deciding whether the firm should be disqualified because constitutional due process concerns prohibit the delegation of the Commonwealth's police powers to private counsel with a direct contingent financial interest in the outcome of the litigation. The issue is not new; it is also pending before California's Supreme Court. Because the Pennsylvania case is being expedited, it will probably decide the issue first. Oral argument is scheduled for Oct. 21, 2009.