Vot­ers ask court to set­tle ger­ry­man­der­ing case be­fore 2018 pri­mary

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - - Local News - By Tracie Mau­riello

Pitts­burgh Post-Gazette

De­layed court ac­tion on a re­dis­trict­ing case could keep cur­rent district bound­aries in place through the 2018 midterm elec­tions.

Vot­ers chal­leng­ing Penn­syl­va­nia’s con­gres­sional district map don’t want that to hap­pen, so their at­tor­neys are ask­ing the state Supreme Court to in­ter­vene be­fore it’s too late. Their at­tor­neys say the case presents “an is­sue of im­me­di­ate pub­lic im­por­tance” and are ask­ing the court to as­sume ex­tra­or­di­nary ju­ris­dic­tion.

Their case is cur­rently be­fore Com­mon­wealth Court in Har­ris­burg.

Any de­ci­sion by that court is likely to be ap­pealed to the state Supreme Court.

“The vot­ers de­serve to have this case re­solved in time for the 2018 pri­mary elec­tion so they can ac­tu­ally vote for rep­re­sen­ta­tives that re­flect their in­ter­ests and needs,” said Mimi McKen­zie, le­gal di­rec­tor of the Pub­lic In­ter­est Law Cen­ter, which Thurs­day filed an ap­pli­ca­tion for ex­tra­or­di­nary re­lief.

Plain­tiffs in the Penn­syl­va­nia case don’t want to wait. They are ask­ing the state Supreme Court to hear their case be­fore the May pri­mary.

“This case is vi­tal to the health of Penn­syl­va­nia’s democ­racy. We are de­ter­mined to try this case ef­fi­ciently to en­sure the map is struck down and a new map that com­plies with the con­sti­tu­tion is cre­ated for the next elec­tion,” she said.

The U.S. Supreme Court, is con­sid­er­ing a sep­a­rate re­dis­trict­ing case out of Wis­con­sin that could have reper­cus­sions for Penn­syl­va­nia, so there is rea­son to wait for

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