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State Supreme Court Orders Gerrymandering Case Forward

The state Supreme Court ruled the Commonwealth Court needs to decide on a gerrymandering lawsuit before the end of the year, which could force the state’s districts to be redrawn ahead of 2018.

The Commonwealth Court had previously ruled that the case should wait until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on a similar case from Wisconsin before rendering a decision.  The state Supreme Court ruled in a 4-3 split decision.

“This is certainly a major step forward for Pennsylvania voters, because they deserve their day in court and now they’re going to get that day in court in time to have a determination for the 2018 elections,” legal director of the Philadelphia-based Public Interest Law Center Mimi McKenzie said according to the Patriot News.  

The Public Interest Law Center is representing the League of Women Voters, who brought the case.  The ruling by the Supreme Court also includes the decision to fast-track the case, opening the door to possibility of the lines being redrawn ahead of the 2018 elections.  

If they are redrawn, it could open the door to large-scale changes in the Congressional representation of the state.  

“Although disappointed by today’s decision, the plaintiffs have not prevailed on anything but the right to be heard.  Senator Scarnati will defend the constitutional 2011 maps in Commonwealth Court and Federal Court over the next months,” counsel and chief of staff to Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) Drew Crompton told the Patriot News.

8 Responses

  1. To have true representative government the following will have to happen…….meaningful campaign finance reform…….elimination of gerrymandering…….open primaries……..until this happens our government will continue to be dysfunctional and ruled by the right and left wing nuts.

  2. Of course they want an expedited decision. A liberal democratic supreme court will draw the districts in favor of the dems before the election.

    1. Gretchen-

      Actually, the Dems on the court favor a FAIR, non-partisan approach that would draw the districts compactly without gerrymandering.

      1. Oh, come on! You can’t really believe that, can you? Yes, both side indeed uses gerrymandering. Yes, if this case goes forward, Democrats and Leftist will draw the maps in their favor, but that is actually hard to do. If they want it to be based on population, you can’t change the maps too much. I live in the 10th PA Congressional District. The only speck of blue on a municipal is Williamsport. Usually, the Red districts are so big because the population is spread out. That is why people say “watch for this county” in elections because counties can change. The Democrats have to go out into these counties if they want any chance of getting more seats through “gerrymandering.” Look at blue districts. They are small, but it is because so many people live in those small districts.You know, the districts with the highest crime and dumbest laws and highest taxes. Gerrymandering is just another excuse. You want a district, win the people on your side. Oh wait, we are just “homophobic”, “bigoted”, male privileged, religious nut, white supremacists, right?

        1. Is that what you are: “homophobic”, “bigoted”, male privileged, religious nut, white supremacists”? That hadn’t actually occurred to me. I simply thought Republicans are game riggers, so afraid of people voting them out that they resort to every tactic possible to prevent the people from having their will carried out. That’s why despite having a million fewer registered voters, and usually losing the popular vote statewide, Republicans hold 13 of the 18 Congressional seats.

          1. Oh, no! Definitely not. It is just what leftist and other democrats like to call people like me who disagree with them…and present facts to back it up.

          2. P.S., Congressional House seats aren’t statewide. The races are by district. If a district as few million MORE Republicans, that district will go to a Republican. It doesn’t matter if there are more democrats in a state, especially if they all concentrate in a city.

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