Times Chronicle & Public Spirit
Constitutional amendment would deny voting rights
Strangely, the TimesChronicle’s article “Montco Bar Association rates potential Judicial Candidates,” omits the rated candidates’ party preference, and fails to provide the candidates’ party registration. This omission makes Lowman Henry’s protest article, “Restore Judicial Integrity,” both moot and incomprehensible. Henry’s Republican bias has no corresponding progressive viewpoint in the Times-Chronicle’s editorial page for several years. In this instance, Henry’s attempts to influence the Supreme Court in a redistricting year is reprehensible. His endorsement of a gerrymandering amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution for the Supreme Court and Appellate Courts is Trumpian in its partisanship.
The latest demonstration of Henry’s bias is his implication that the current Democratic-majority Pennsylvania Supreme Court caused the loss of esteem “of highest repute.” In fact, three Republican Supreme Court Justices participated in the exchange of pornographic emails, and were removed by the voters disgusted by their immature behavior. Strangely, Republicans did not call for the judges to be “locked up” for their emails. Henry’s objections appear to center on the family relations of Justice Kevin Dougherty to his brother John, whose union supported the Democratic slate of judges in their past election. As of this writing, Justice Dougherty has shown no favoritism toward his brother, and has maintained his reputation for judicial integrity.
Henry’s main objection to the current Court appears to be its rejection of the Republican legislature’s gerrymandered Congressional District map
— which Henry considers solely the Republican Legislature’s venue. Henry makes no mention of the fact that more Pennsylvanians supported Democratic candidates for the legislature than Republicans, statewide, and makes no attempt to justify why the legislature’s map supports the equal protection of the laws in the Fourteenth Amendment, or the explicit language of the Voting Rights Act. He does not mention that gerrymandering in the Congressional District lawsuit was rejected by the US Supreme Court, despite the SCOTUS decision to nullify US pre-clearance of map changes and voting regulations at the state level.
In short, Lowman Henry has failed to make his case that Democrats are attempting a “steal” by electing Democrats in coming elections to the State Supreme Court and to lower courts. Republicans are so frightened of the people’s votes in a statewide election that they offer a constitutional amendment to gerrymander Supreme Court and state appellate Court elections — creating district maps to craft as they have to all statewide voting maps they touch. Voters should reject such measures overwhelmingly. Statewide elections count every ballot equally.