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Pennsylvania Politics and Gerrymandering

February 19, 2018

To what extent is gerrymandering permissible. 

 

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania entered that discussion and found that the 2011 Congressional District Map was too partisan under the Pennsylvania State Constitution. League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania v. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, No. 159-MM-2017, January 22, 2018 (see link to the Order). This is what the 2011 map looked like.  Notice the funny shape of the sixth and seventh districts.

In response to the Supreme Court's decision, on February 9th, two state legislators submitted a proposed map to correct the gerrymandering.  This was their proposed map.

 

On February 13, the Pennsylvania governor rejected that map, inter alia, as still being too partisan (see link to letter submission)

 

As a result, on February 19, the Supreme Court was forced to released its own map to correct the gerrymandering.  This is their map.

It will be interesting to see the fall out from this court order redistricting. 

 

It also will be interesting to see how the U.S. Supreme Court addresses partisan gerrymandering under the U.S. Constitution because that it currently has two such cases.  GIll v. Whitford, Case 16-1161, argued October 3, 2017 (Wisconsin gerrymandering case); Benisek v. Lamone, Case 17-333, to be argued March 28, 2018 (Maryland gerrymandering case).

 

 

Images:

- 2011 and 2018 plans are from the Supreme Court's February 19, 2018 Order (here is a link to the February 19 Order)

- 2018 Republican proposed map can be found in the Respondent's submission of February 9, 2018 at Attachment A (here is a link to the submission)

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