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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Invalidates 2011 Legislative Redistricting Plan

Published on January 25, 2012, by in General.

On January 25, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, by a 4-3 vote, said the new redistricting plan for both houses of the state legislature is unlawful. The order is only two pages, and does not say what is wrong with the plan, but says an explanation will follow. The Court also ordered that the old district lines be in place until a new plan is approved. Finally, the Court extended the petition deadline for candidates running in Pennsylvania primaries by two days, from February 14 to February 16.

The dissent is only one page. The legislative redistricting plan that was invalidated was created by the Pennsylvania Reapportionment Commission, which consists of the State Senate Majority Leader, the State Senate Minority Leader, the State House Majority Leader, the State House Minority Leader, and a fifth member who is chosen by the other four. However, when the other four can’t agree, then the Pennsylvania Supreme Court appoints the fifth member. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has had to appoint the fifth member in 2011, 2001, and 1991.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is itself elected on a partisan basis, and has four Republicans and three Democrats. Generally, Democratic Party activists didn’t like the plan, and Republicans did. All three Democratic justices, and one Republican justice, voted against the redistricting plan. The other three Republican justices dissented. Thanks to Rick Hasen for this news. Professor Hasen asks how long it will be before a voter files a lawsuit in federal court, saying the 2001 redistricting plan can’t be used because the districts aren’t equal in population, since they are based on the 2000 census, not the 2010 census.

4 Responses

  1. […] Throws Out RedistrictingPatch.comPa. high court throws out assembly redistrictingThe Herald-MailBallot Access -Yorkdispatch.comall 62 news […]

  2. Demo Rep

    Will there have to be a SECOND DOI in PA — to get REAL Democracy into ALL of the rotted to the core ANTI-Democracy minority rule Gerrymander State Legislatures ???

    I.E. P.R. or DEATH ???

    The FAILURE to have REAL Democracy in the U.K. regime in 1775 = 1775-1783 American Revolution – i.e. a Civil WAR/Secession effort

    The FAILURE to have REAL Democracy in the U.S.A. regime in 1860 = 1861-1865 Horrific Civil I.

    How many prof MORONS are there in ALL of the law schools and polisci schools and history schools — who do NOT talk to each other ???

  3. Demo Rep

    typo

    The FAILURE to have REAL Democracy in the U.S.A. regime in 1860 = 1861-1865 Horrific Civil WAR I.

  4. Jim Riley

    The issue is about whether the plan unnecessarily splits political subdivisions, which is to be avoided unless “absolutely necessary”

    Supposedly, the 2000 plan was worse in this regard than the new 2010 plan.

    The court order said that the 2001 decision by the court had said that the 2000-plan was to be used until replaced by a legal plan, and that the new plan was not legal, so the old plan must be used.

    Even though the 2000 plan is not legal (because it now has a 30% population population deviation). I think they lost sight of why their is redistricting after a census.

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