What does the recent Pennsylvania State Supreme Court decision on Redistricting mean for PA residents?

January 24, 2018
Press Release

What does the recent Pennsylvania State Supreme Court decision on Redistricting mean for PA residents?

This week: our State Supreme Court ruled the current congressional maps are unconstitutional.

What does this mean?

  • Courts determined that the congressional Redistricting Act of 2011 was in violation of state law.
  • Requested that the state legislature submit new maps to Governor Wolf by February 9th.
  • The Governor then must submit the plan to the Supreme Court by February 15th.
  • The Governor has veto power.
  • If legislature and Governor do not comply with the order, the maps will be drawn by the court.

What are the guidelines and criteria for the new maps?

The new maps must be…

  • Compact and contiguous territory.
  • Equal in population as practicable.
  • Not divide any county, city incorporated town, borough, township, or ward, except where necessary.
  • Should not produce maps that are partisan-blind.
  • Not designed to create undue partisan mischiefs in constructing maps.
  • Should keep municipalities intact and preserve communities of interest.

What are the impact and ramifications of decision?

  • Ordered PA Department of State to anticipate that congressional districting plan will be available by February 19th.
  • Directs the Department to take all necessary measure, including adjusting the election calendar to ensure that the May 15th, 2018 primary election takes place as scheduled.
  • This may mean moving the deadlines for petitions and petition challenges.
  • Currently, petitions are slated to be circulated from February 13th to March 6th.
  • Creates ambiguity and confusion of maps and boundaries.