U.S. Supreme Court Determines Redrawn Pennsylvania Congressional Districts Violate State’s Constitution

U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Supreme Court. (Source: Wikipedia)

WASHINGTON –(ENEWSPF)—February 5, 2018

By: Rosemary Piser

The U.S. Supreme Court today in the case League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania vs Commonwealth of Pennsylvania determined that redrawn congressional district lines made by the Pennsylvania legislature violated the state’s constitution. The Public Interest Law Center litigated the case and Common Cause Pennsylvania assisted in the recruitment of individual plaintiffs.

Karen Hobert Flynn, President of Common Cause said, “This decision is a victory for the voters of Pennsylvania who would have been required to vote in a fourth election under an illegal partisan gerrymander had the Court sided with the defendants. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court rightly decided that the Pennsylvania Constitution protects its citizens from voting in congressional districts that legislators manipulated for political advantage after the 2010 redistricting cycle. By leaving that decision alone, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the fundamental right of Pennsylvanians to fair representation – something they have been denied since this gerrymandered map was put in place.”

Micah Sims, Executive Director of Common Cause Pennsylvania added that: “We can now move forward with restoring the confidence to voters that for the first time this decade votes cast will be in constitutional and not gerrymandered districts. Over the last few days I heard testimonies in town hall meetings, read in emails sent to me, and heard on phone calls with residents that they want to fairly choose their congressional representatives. Justice swept through the commonwealth of Pennsylvania impacting residents from Erie to Philadelphia, York to State College, Scranton to Aliquippa, and everywhere in between. Democracy has been preserved and the march continues towards votes having meaning and Pennsylvanians having a voice and representation in Washington.”

The U.S. Supreme Court has required that the legislature produce a newly drawn maps by February 9th and receive an approval from Governor Tom Wolf by February 15th. If neither perform their duty and complete the task, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania will produce a map by February 19th and allow voters to elect candidates based upon those during the 2018 election cycle.

To read Common Cause’s brief in League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvaniaclick here.

Common Cause is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process. Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest.

Source: Common Cause