Energy - March 2, 2018

Redistricting: Court Actions May Bring More Competitive Districts

While the partisan sparring over redrawing Congressional District lines in PA continues, the PA Supreme Court has charted its own course to resolve the matter.

After ruling that the districts drawn subsequent to the 2010 census were unconstitutional, the Court asked the legislature to provide a less partisan map. When the General Assembly and the Governor failed to agree on their own new map, the Court delegated that responsibility to itself.

While some Republican leaders maintain that this was an overreach by the Court, most legal scholars believe that the judicial branch has the right to delegate this authority – even to itself – if the legislature is deadlocked.  They point to a case from Arizona in 2015 in which the U.S. Supreme Court allowed a similar delegation of authority as a proper function and an appropriate “check and balance” on the  legislative branch in this rare instance.

For a more closer look at the need for more competitive districts in PA and the new map that can get us there, see the following op-ed written by former Lieutenant Governor Mark Singel.

Allentown Mayor Convicted

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski was convicted of charges that included bribery, fraud and attempted extortion yesterday. Pawlowski had been accused by Federal prosecutors of a “pay-to-play” culture in the Mayor’s office. He and his aides allegedly rigged bids for city contracts related to construction, legal, and financial services as Pawlowski was trying to build a war chest to run for Governor in 2014. A sentencing date has not yet been set.