Court Created Congressional Mess

Court Created Congressional Mess

By Leo Knepper

Court Created Congressional MessThe Pennsylvania Supreme Court released its version  (see image) of the congressional districts map on Monday.  As we noted previously, the Court lacks authority under the Pennsylvania Constitution to draw districts. It is likely that Republicans will file suit in federal court to stop the Court-created Congressional districts from being used in the 2018 elections. One avenue for seeking a federal injunction is summarized by Justice Max Baer, the lone Democrat to dissent from the final opinion:

“While I have expressed my misgivings with allowing an election to proceed based upon a constitutionally-flawed map, I continue to conclude that the compressed schedule failed to provide a reasonable opportunity for the General Assembly to legislate a new map in compliance with the federal Constitution’s delegation of redistricting authority to state legislatures.[US Constitution, Article 1, Section 4]

“My skepticism regarding the time allotted the Legislature has been borne out. Democracy generally, and legislation specifically, entails elaborate and time-consuming processes. Here, regardless of culpability, the Legislature has been unable to pass a remedial map to place on the Governor’s desk for signature or veto. Under these circumstances, Pennsylvania and federal law permit the use of the existing, albeit unconstitutional, map for one final election.” [Emphasis added]

A second issue is the Court’s districts do not minimize the number of splits to local governments (i.e., townships, municipalities, counties, etc.). An analysis by Amanda Holt found that the districts adopted by the Court resulted in more splits (79) than the district maps submitted by Republicans (61) and a separate plan offered by the Senate Democrats (60). You may not recognize her name, but Ms. Holt’s research in 2011 was the primary evidence used to throw out the state House and Senate districts for constitutional reasons. Her current finding is significant because the Pennsylvania Supreme Court stated in their original decision that local governments could only be split to ensure equal population. Furthermore, as she notes on her blog, the fact that the Court’s districts are drawn with more splits could demonstrate to a federal judge a lack of “good faith effort.”

The high likelihood of another lawsuit being brought by Republicans to the federal court regarding the Congressional districts means the issue is still up in the air. We will keep you posted as the story continues to develop.

Mr. Knepper is executive director of Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania.

Court Created Congressional Mess

 

Billy Graham, R.I.P.

The Rev. Billy Graham, who had done more to preserve this country’s freedom than just about any politician in this generation, has died.

We heard Rev. Graham preach at the Vet in 1992. Ed Rendell was mayor and shared the stage with him. Rendell left early.

Rest in peace, Rev. Graham. We suspect you will.

Billy Graham, R.I.P.

Billy Graham, R.I.P.

 

Every slip is not a fall William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit 2-21-18

Every slip is not a fall William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit 2-21-18

Vkgik gtj ghyzotktik lxus Kaxuvkgt otzkxlkxktiky gxk uax uhpkizy, gtj yu corr iutzotak cnork znk vxkyktz uxjkx ul znotmy ot Gskxoig xksgot atotzkxxavzkj.
Znusgy Pkllkxyut

 

Every slip is not a fall William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit 2-21-18 Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle: sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing ye to the Lord and bless his name: shew forth his salvation from day to day. PsalmsAnswer to yesterday’s William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit quote puzzle: Every slip is not a fall.
John Quigg

 

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