Redistricting Ruling Blind Partisanship Not Blind Justice — The Democrat-controlled Pennsylvania Supreme Court two days ago (Jan. 22) ruled that Pennsylvania’s 18 congressional districts must be re-mapped by the legislature by Feb. 9 else it will do it itself.
The vote was on party lines with Democrats Todd, Donohue, Dougherty, and Wecht concurring and Republicans Saylor and Mundy dissenting.
Democrat Max Baer concurred and dissented noting that it would be better if the order occurred without a primary being just months away, and a special election in the 18th District scheduled for March 13.
While the order specifically exempts the special election, Baer noted that voters in this district would be electing a representative in March in one district while nomination petitions would be circulating for a newly-drawn district, which may or may not include the current candidates for the special election. Again and respectfully, I find the likelihood for confusion, if not chaos, militates strongly against my colleagues’ admittedly admirable effort to correct the current map prior to the May 15, 2018 primary election.
And he is right. While we grant that there is egregious gerrymandering — and have been consistently critical as to how the 7th District was drawn — this was not the time to fix it.
What the court did was not blind justice but blind partisanship. While you can expect partisanship in a legislative body, you cannot have it in on a court.