The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will take over the congressional redistricting process after an order came down from the high court this afternoon.
The Supreme Court has the power to consider any case pending in a lower court and even some matters not pending in the courts when it sees the need to address an issue of “immediate public importance.” When it does so, the Supreme Court exercises its “King’s Bench power” or its power of “extraordinary jurisdiction” as provided by the Pennsylvania Constitution and Pennsylvania law.
The PA Commonwealth Court was ready to select a new map from among proposals this week after the normal redistricting process between the governor and state legislature could not reach an agreement.
Judge Patricia A. McCullough of the Commonwealth Court has been designated to serve as a Special Master, or someone appointed by the court to carry out the action of selecting a map on its behalf. She will make a recommendation on or before February 7, 2022.
No later than February 14, parties may file exceptions with the Supreme Court along with briefs in support. The Court will hold oral arguments on the exceptions on Friday, February 18, beginning at 9:30 a.m.
The Supreme Court exercises these powers only on rare occasions. It has exercised them to take jurisdiction of cases such as those involving election disputes, public employee strikes, prison overcrowding, investigating grand juries, powers of the Legislature and alleged judicial misconduct.
They have several solid maps to choose from that are not gerrymandered and don’t place the Harrisburg suburbs with Altoona. This shouldn’t take long.
They HAD a fair map drawn by the Public. Then Seth Grove mangled it in a gerrymander the PA constitution forbids. So here we are.
Leader Corman won’t compromise on a commission so here we are again with the Court having to intervene.