Gerrymandering

PA Lawmakers Advance Redistricting Reforms As June Deadline Looms

7 hours ago
Katie Meyer / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania lawmakers have advanced a bill that would change the state’s constitution to put its congressional district map in the hands of a citizen commission, one whose 11 members would be chosen by elected officials.

Mary Wilson / WITF

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati is throwing his weight behind a few measures that have, of late, been more commonly championed by Democrats.

The top Republican official, of Cameron County, said in a wide-ranging speech Monday that he wants to see the redistricting process overhauled, and also switch the commonwealth to open primaries.

Scarnati made it clear, his anger over the state Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate and redraw Pennsylvania’s congressional map hasn’t abated.

Joseph Kaczmarek / AP

Days before Pennsylvania’s primary election, about 25 Democrats gathered for a meeting a few blocks away from the border of two recently reshaped congressional districts in North Philadelphia.

On a table with campaign literature, flyers that said, “re-elect Congressman Dwight Evans” were neatly tucked away and replaced with others that support Congressman Brendan Boyle.

Matt Rourke / AP

In recent weeks, proponents of overhauling Pennsylvania’s redistricting process with an independent citizens’ commission have been frustrated as their bills have been repeatedly gutted by the Republican majority in a prominent state House committee.

But now, those advocates may be getting an unexpected new ally in House GOP Leader Dave Reed, who told reporters Tuesday, this is an issue he wants to address before he departs the legislature at the end of this year.  

Currently, congressional redistricting is done by the legislature, and the governor signs off on it.

Matt Rourke / AP

For the second time this month, a state House panel has stripped a bill that would have established an independent redistricting commission made up of citizens, and replaced it with language that gives the legislature even more power over the process.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court

The months-long legal challenge to Pennsylvania's congressional districts came to a halt in February, when the state Supreme Court issued its own map

Matt Rourke / AP

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati may not have to pay more than $29,000 out of pocket for legal fees in a redistricting case.

At least, not yet.

A federal judge has put a hold on the order he made after deeming the GOP lawmaker’s actions in the case frivolous.

The case in question was initially brought to the Commonwealth Court last summer by the League of Women Voters, who argued the state congressional map was unconstitutionally gerrymandered.

With New Map, Pennsylvania Fields Busy U.S. House Primaries

Apr 30, 2018
Marc Levy / AP

George Scott got the inevitable question a half-hour into a meet-the-candidate house party in the rolling hills of south-central Pennsylvania: How will you inspire all those people in the congressional district who put up Donald Trump signs in 2016?

Pennsylvania Supreme Court

Val DiGiorgio, the chair of the state Republican Party, said Republicans–including those running in the newly drawn 14th Congressional District–should refrain from attacking each other. But his party hasn't given up the fight against a new Congressional district map, even as voters prepare to cast ballots in those races next month.

Matt Rourke / AP

Lawyers for Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati have filed an appeal to a federal court decision that the Republican must personally pay more than $29,000 for legal fees in a high-profile redistricting case.

The GOP lawmaker officially has 14 days to pay—but his chief counsel said he has no intention of doing so.

The case in question was initially brought to the Commonwealth Court last summer by the League of Women Voters, who argued the state congressional map was unconstitutionally gerrymandered.

Ray Lisenmayer for Congress / Facebook

Democrat Conor Lamb's last remaining primary opponent is now supporting him, the way for the newly sworn-in Pennsylvania congressman to win the party nomination to challenge third-term Republican Rep. Keith Rothfus in November.

House GOP Backs Plan To Give Majority More Districting Power

Apr 12, 2018
Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Republicans on a Pennsylvania House committee voted on Wednesday to give more power over redistricting to the majority party in the Legislature, breathing life into efforts to substantially change how General Assembly and congressional districts are drawn.

PA Legislature Has Long History Of Inaction On Redistricting Reform Bills

Mar 29, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

Now that legal challenges to Pennsylvania’s new court-drawn congressional map have been rejected, state lawmakers have turned their attention to the typical process by which the state reapportions congressional districts every decade.

But some stakeholders are skeptical about whether any current proposals will ever make it to a vote.

Another Key Redistricting Case Goes In Front Of High Court

Mar 26, 2018
supremecourt.gov

The Supreme Court has already heard a major case about political line-drawing that has the potential to reshape American politics. Now, before even deciding that one, the court is taking up another similar case.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Some advocates are worried that recent changes to Pittsburgh’s public transit system could hurt the riders that use it most. 

GOP Chief Justice Slams Republican Judicial Impeachment Move

Mar 22, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

The Republican chief justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court expressed concern Thursday about an effort by several House Republicans to impeach four Democratic justices over their rulings in a congressional redistricting case.

Carolyn Kaster / AP

Republican Rick Saccone conceded defeat to Democrat Conor Lamb on Wednesday night in a closely watched special election in Pennsylvania, more than a week after the end of a remarkable race that has shaken GOP confidence ahead of the November midterm elections.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA


Most of the candidates who intend to run in Pennsylvania’s newly drawn 14th Congressional District to the south and east of Pittsburgh don’t actually live there.

GOP Lawmakers Seek To Impeach Judges Over Congressional Map

Mar 20, 2018
Keith Srakocic / AP

Twelve Republican state legislators in Pennsylvania have signed on to resolutions seeking to impeach four Democratic justices on the state Supreme Court over rulings in a congressional redistricting case.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Democrat Conor Lamb (Mt. Lebanon Township) and Republican Rick Saccone (Elizabeth Township) doubled down on their respective messages, and launched sharp criticism at one another, ahead of the March 13 special election to fill the empty House seat in Pennsylvania’s 18th District.

Matt Rourke / AP

Federal judges are letting voters who successfully challenged Pennsylvania's congressional district map fight a lawsuit by eight Republican congressmen seeking to overturn the decision.

Federal Judges To Hear Pennsylvania District Map Challenge

Feb 23, 2018
Carolyn Kaster / AP

*Updated
A request by eight GOP congressmen in Pennsylvania to halt the use of a new congressional district map in this year's elections was placed in the hands of three Republican-appointed federal judges Friday.

Keith Srakocic / AP

The boundaries of Pennsylvania’s congressional districts are still in contention this week as GOP leaders file suit to block a map enforced by the state Supreme Court. Three Republican-appointed federal judges on Friday agreed to hear the case.

Eight Pennsylvania GOP Congressmen File Challenge To District Map

Feb 22, 2018
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

*UPDATED

Pennsylvania's highest court overstepped its authority in drawing new congressional district lines and did not give state lawmakers enough time to produce a map of their own, eight Republican congressmen said in a lawsuit filed Thursday.

Matt Rourke / AP

 A new court-ordered map of congressional districts in Pennsylvania is spurring more would-be candidates to consider whether — and where — to run.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Republicans are attempting to circumvent the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the state’s congressional maps as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander in favor of Republicans.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

In a rare visit to Harrisburg, Republican US Senator Pat Toomey made clear his strong opposition to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to redraw the state’s congressional maps.

GOP Leaders To Seek Halt To Pennsylvania Congressional Map

Feb 21, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

Republican leaders of the Pennsylvania Legislature said Wednesday they will soon ask the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the imposition of new congressional district maps, two days after they were announced by the state's highest court.

House Speaker Mike Turzai said that later Wednesday he and his Senate counterpart will request an emergency stay of what he called a "completely partisan, ultimate gerrymander."

Keith Srakocic / AP

The new congressional map issued by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Monday shifts Democrat Conor Lamb — who lives in Mt. Lebanon and is running in the special election to fill the vacant seat in the current 18th District — into a new district and potentially a competitive primary.

Congressional Map Raises Democrats’ Hopes, Legal Test Ahead

Feb 20, 2018
(Left) PA Supreme Court, (Right) Office of Lt. Gov. Mike Stack

The map of congressional districts imposed by Pennsylvania's high court for the state's 2018 elections will set off a new legal battle, reconfigure perhaps dozens of campaigns and give Democrats a boost in their mission to wrest control of the U.S. House.

The map of Pennsylvania's 18 congressional districts is to be in effect for the May 15 primary and substantially overhauls a Republican-drawn congressional map widely viewed as among the nation's most gerrymandered.

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