Independent Citizens Commission for Redistricting
The Pennsylvania Senate Democrats voted unanimously against a Senator Aument amendment to create judicial districts, as part of the redistricting reform bill, Senate Bill 22.
Ultimately, the amendment passed by a partisan vote of 31 to 18, with several Republicans voting against it as well.
Senate Bill 22 was intended to create an independent commission for the redistricting process, to prevent gerrymandering and ensure fair, competitive elections. The irony and hypocrisy of the amendment from Senator Aument is that its purpose is to gerrymander the court system. It would create commission-drawn districts for judges – instead of statewide elections, as they are now.
News on SB 22
A key element in my unending criticism of our insulated, leaden legislature is that its leaders and separate chambers operate in silos of self-interest — to the detriment of democracy and the common good. Plus, leaders demonstrate little concern for the image of the...read more
In the span of a few hours last week, a nonpartisan organization seeking redistricting reform went from supporting a state Senate bill to registering staunch opposition. Fair District PA volunteer Anna Fisher’s presentation in Bethel Park happened to occur the evening...read more
Associated Press | By Marc Levy
After the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Democratic majority threw out the Republican-drawn map of congressional districts as an unconstitutional gerrymander, Republicans raised talk of impeaching Democratic justices.
Calls for impeachment even came from senior Republican Party officials.
That talk receded, but Republicans have brought forward another plan that could limit the lifespan of the court’s Democratic majority: changing the state’s constitution to elect appellate court judges in districts, rather than in statewide elections.read more
The Morning Call | By Bill White
My Sunday column will look at the discouraging latest developments in the effort to reform the way election districts are drawn up in Pennsylvania.
In short, Senate Republicans double-crossed everyone at the last minute by amending Senate Bill 22 — which would create an independent citizens redistricting commission — so it includes a provision calling for regional elections of state appellate court judges.read more
The Reading Eagle | Associated Press
It’s hard to stomach the twists and turns in the effort to change the way Pennsylvania’s congressional and state legislative districts are drawn. The latest development, a last-minute Republican amendment calling for a change in the way state appellate court judges are elected, angered Democrats and led many of redistricting reform’s staunchest advocates to drop their support of legislation they had championed.read more
By Stacy M. Brown | Philadelphia Tribune
Philadelphia-area state Sens. Anthony Williams and Vincent Hughes led a chorus of Democrats expressing outrage this week over the Republican-led Senate’s redistricting overhaul, which would include Supreme, Superior and Commonwealth court districts.
Under the bill, which House members were expected to receive Wednesday, state appellate judges would be elected by district, rather than statewide, and a citizens commission would draw the state’s congressional and legislative districtsread more
Our Members at Work
PA Senate Democrats sent a letter to House Speaker Mike Turzai asking him to refer Senate Bill 22 to the House Rules Committee, for consideration and a motion to remove the Aument amendment on judicial districts. [embeddoc...read more
Harrisburg – June 13, 2018 – Senate Republicans, without a public hearing and zero citizen input, added a radical court gerrymandering plan to a bipartisan proposal to reform the way congressional and legislative districts are drawn, state Sen. Jim Brewster...read more
Harrisburg, June 13, 2018 – The state Senate today voted 35-14 in favor of Sen. Lisa M. Boscola’s (D-Northampton/Lehigh) statewide redistricting reform legislation. The measure would amend the state’s constitution to establish a citizen’s commission to redraw...read more
HARRISBURG – June 13, 2018 − State Senator Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware) today commented on the passage of Senate Bill 22 by the Pennsylvania Senate. The proposed constitutional amendment now awaits consideration by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives....read more
HARRISBURG, PA − June 12, 2018 − The Pennsylvania Senate Democrats voted unanimously against a Senator Aument amendment to create judicial districts, as part of the redistricting reform bill, Senate Bill 22.read more