VICTORY!! The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled today that the 2011 Congressional district maps were “clearly, plainly, and palpably unconstitutional” and is requiring the General Assembly to redraw the map and the Governor to approve it by February 15.
We are thrilled with the decision of the PA Supreme Court. The League has been fighting against gerrymandering for nearly a quarter century – along with other allies in Pennsylvania. The Order is available here.
This lawsuit was intended to protect the rights of all voters, regardless of party affiliation. The creation of “safe” seats for either party undermines the ability of all voters to elect representatives of their choosing. We sued to make sure that elections will be decided by the voters, not by partisan politicians. Today’s decision rights a wrong that diluted the Pennsylvanian’s votes and undermined our democracy. This is a victory for all Pennsylvanians regardless of party – fair elections aren’t about Republicans or Democrats, it’s about all of us.
We are so thankful to work beside amazing lawyers from Arnold Porter Kaye and Scholer, LLP as well as the Public Interest Law Center. Their hard work advocating on behalf of Pennsylvania voters has paid off.
It’s important to note that these maps are a direct result of a process that gives elected officials the power, rather than the voters. We know that the current process has led to unfair maps. It’s time for legislators to listen to what Pennsylvanians are saying and change the process. Senate Bill 22 and House Bill 722 would change the process so an independent citizens redistricting commission was in charge of drawing the maps. It would give voters a voice in the process and mandate transparency. These bills were introduced over a year ago and have yet to get a hearing. It is time to move forward.
Our democracy only works if everyone’s vote has equal weight, and the “clearly, plainly and palpably unconstitutional” 2011 congressional districts map took the power from the people and put it in the hands of legislators. There’s more work to be done, but for today, we CELEBRATE!