Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane said Thursday she had evidence that a sitting Supreme Court justice - quickly identified by her staff as J. Michael Eakin - had sent and received "racial, misogynistic pornography" on state computers.

Kane said she had given the state Supreme Court, the Judicial Conduct Board, and the state Ethics Commission more than 1,500 Eakin emails to review. Her spokesman said he could not say how many contained offensive material.

One email, Kane said, contained "a joke about a woman who was beaten by her husband, and the punch line is that she should just shut up."

She said another noted that 30 percent of female murder victims were killed by husbands or boyfriends. "The punch line is 'Well, 30 percent of them should have just shut the expletive up,' " Kane said.

Referring to herself, Kane immediately added: "I'm not the woman to shut up."

Eakin, 66, a Republican, is a former Cumberland County district attorney who was elected to the court 14 years ago. He did not return calls seeking comment.

A spokesman for the Supreme Court confirmed that Kane had turned over the emails and said the court would hire a special counsel to review them.

Once the counsel finishes a report, "the court will do whatever is necessary," James Koval said.

Kane, the first Democrat and first woman elected attorney general in Pennsylvania, made her explosive charge moments after emerging from her arraignment on a fresh count of perjury in the criminal case she is facing.

She was charged in August with leaking information from a grand jury investigation in an alleged bid to embarrass a critic, then with lying about it under oath.

Kane has called the prosecution payback for her campaign to expose that her office, before her election, was a hub for widespread email sharing of X-rated material by prosecutors, detectives, judges, and others.

Critics say Kane has seized on the porn issue to divert attention from her own wrongdoing.

This is the second time allegedly pornographic email has threatened to envelop the high court in scandal. Last year, Justice Seamus McCaffery, a Democrat, retired after he was found to have exchanged more than 200 pornographic emails through state computer servers. He used a personal email address to exchange porn with others, including an employee of the Attorney General's Office.

At that time, the high court said a comprehensive review of the Attorney General's Office email system had found that McCaffery was alone among the justices in exchanging scores of porn emails. That review, carried out by a special counsel in collaboration with the Attorney General's Office and the office's computer experts, found that Eakin had received one pornographic email.

In Kane's brief remarks to reporters Thursday - she answered no questions - she did not explain why the additional Eakin emails had not been picked up in that review.

Her spokesman, Chuck Ardo, said Thursday that Kane had only recently discovered the Eakin emails following a media request filed with her office.

In the furor that flared last year, the Philadelphia Daily News reported that Eakin had received at least three questionable emails.

Two depicted topless centerfolds. A third, with the subject line "Prom Night at Camden High School!!", contained photos of black teenagers with captions mocking their appearance.

Ardo said the new material unearthed by Kane was in addition to those emails.

The emails cited by the Daily News were sent to a Yahoo account Eakin had opened under the alias "John Smith." Ardo said that address was used in the recently discovered emails.

Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille, who presided over the probe that led to McCaffery's retirement, said he was suspicious of Kane's account of a new discovery of emails.

"If I was on the Supreme Court, I would be demanding what the heck happened" in the earlier review, Castille said.

He said the high court should make sure Kane had not previously held back some emails.

Earlier this year, Kane had said she would not identify all of those who exchanged porn on state servers unless a court directed her to do so.

Last month, after the Supreme Court suspended her law license because of her criminal case, Kane reversed that policy and said she would reveal new names in the porn scandal.

She delivered on that promise, in part, on Thursday. The emails and the full list of recipients remains secret.

"The images themselves aren't the only story," Kane said. "The problem is the network that's involved, and the breadth of this network is incredible. This network is judges, U.S. attorneys, attorneys general, law enforcement, district attorneys, and public defenders."

Kane discovered the emails as an offshoot of a previous investigation into how state prosecutors handled the case against convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky. An expert hired for that review dug up the emails.

Last year, Kane disclosed names of a handful of current or former officials who had exchanged the emails, all of whom had ties to former Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican.

Several of those men, including Corbett's environmental commissioner, lost their jobs.

215-854-4821 @CraigRMcCoy