Pennsylvania – On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard oral arguments in one of the challenges to the state’s 2011 congressional map. The case, League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania (LWV) v. Pennsylvania General Assembly, alleges the map is an eggregious partisan gerrymander executed by Republican state lawmakers that allowed Republicans to win 72% of the state’s congressional delegation with just 50% of the vote. Here are the highlights from the oral arument, which lasted just over 2 hours:
- The LWV mantained a hard line stance; proposing to the court that partisanship should not be a factor at all in drawing maps.
- A plurality of the court appeared to agree that the map was potentially an impermissible partisan gerrymander, but did not agree with the LWV view that partisanship should not be considered at all.
- Lawyers representing the governor sided with plaintiffs’ request for a new map and assured the court that there was enough time to draw a new map in time for the May primaries; but only if the map were in place by Feb. 20th.
- There was some debate among plaintiff and defendant lawyers on whether the court’s decision in this case could be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court given that this is a State constitutional issue.
- The Huffington Post has a detailed account here.