Pennsylvania Legislative Reapportionment Commission

The Constitution’s direction to keep communities whole is not arbitrary, but attempts to maximize citizen voices in the political process by building coherent constituencies for legislators – and by preventing highly politicized gerrymandering. In December 2011, the Pennsylvania Legislative Reapportionment Commission (LRC) released a redistricting plan that ignored this direction.

At the request of the Law Center and Hogan Lovells, the Supreme Court for the first time ever rejected the redistricting plan because it did not uphold “compactness, contiguity, and integrity of political subdivisions”, in accordance with Article II, Section 16 of the Pennsylvania Constitution. On remand, the LRC created a revised plan. In May 2013 the Supreme Court accepted the revised plan although it maintains 135 more subdivisions in House districts and 20 more subdivisions in the Senate districts than petitioner Holt’s revised plan. The Law Center will continue to monitor this process in future redistricting cycles.

Case Progress

May 2013
Redistricting Plan Accepted by Supreme Court – 1.9 million Pa. residents spared from further subdivision

2013
Brief Filed to Oppose the LRC’s Revised Redistricting Plan

2012
Second Round of Challenges filed to Oppose the LRC’s Revised Redistricting Plan

June 2012
PLRC Passes Another Unconstitutional Plan

May 2012
New Map Drafted, But Limited Improvement

February 2012
Law Center, Co-Counsel & Clients Offer Assistance to LRC

February 2012
Pa. Supreme Court Releases Opinions

January 2012
Pa. Supreme Court Makes Historic Ruling for Law Center & Clients

Staff on the Case
Michael Churchill