Supreme Court hears PA gerrymandering case

Local News

Covering the State Capitol today, the State Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that could change the way Pennsylvania’s Congressional Map is drawn.  

The League of Woman Voters of Pennsylvania, along with 18 voters, have brought forward the case that Pennsylvania’s Congressional Map, drawn by Republicans in 2011, discriminates against democratic voters.  

Mimi McKenzie, Legal Director of the Public Interest Law Center, says, “The state legislature carefully manipulated the 2011 map to mute the voices of Democratic voters.”

Arguing before the State Supreme Court Wednesday morning, attorneys made the case that Republicans have won 13 of 18 congressional seats for three straight elections, despite only winning about half of the statewide vote.

Tom Rentschler, 6th Congressional District Resident, says “That permanent situation in Congress has rendered my vote and the vote of many people in Pennsylvania irrelevant.”

David Gersch, representing the petitioners, calling it the “worst map in Pennsylvania history,” and, “a case of intentional discrimination”.  Drew Crompton is counsel to Senate Republicans.  His side argued Democrats are not being shut out of the political process.  

If the Supreme Court, which has a 5 to 2 Democratic majority, does vote to change the map; those bringing the case argue the maps can be redone in two to three weeks.

Gersch says, “It takes 102 reps and 26 Senators and a Governor to sign it. No matter when you do it. And that political back and forth takes time… So, I think two weeks is wholly unreasonable.”

–Matt Heckel

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