On Wednesday, October 4, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court is currently scheduled to hold a hearing in our partisan gerrymandering lawsuit.* And we need your help to fill the court room in Harrisburg and show the Court how important this case is to Pennsylvania voters.
The October 4 hearing marks the first time the Court will hear directly from parties in the lawsuit, which we filed in June of this year on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania and individual voters from all 18 congressional districts. Our lawsuit contends that in 2011 Pennsylvania elected officials created an unconstitutional gerrymander when devising the U.S. congressional map.
The hearing will focus on an Application to Stay filed by the General Assembly and the legislative leaders, Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati III and House Speaker Mike Turzai. We oppose this application, in which legislators ask for a delay of the case until a federal lawsuit out of Wisconsin, Gill v. Whitford, has been decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The legislature’s request to delay the case is unfounded. There are no legal or factual grounds for the General Assembly’s request, and such a delay further violates the fundamental rights of all voters in our state. The Gill case, which may not be decided until early summer of 2018, involves issues exclusively under the federal Constitution. Our lawsuit challenges the state’s U.S. congressional map under the Pennsylvania Constitution, which has different and broader protections than the federal constitution.
The Court will also review an Application to Intervene, filed by 34 members of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania. We will ask the court to reject their request as their concerns are already fully represented by the Republican-controlled General Assembly and legislative leaders.
Can you join us in Harrisburg on October 4 at 10 a.m. so that together we can demonstrate to the Court that Pennsylvania voters want our votes to matter? RSVP if you can join us.
Redistricting Lawsuit Hearing & Press Conference
October 4, 2017
Pennsylvania Judicial Center
601 Commonwealth Ave
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Press conference to be held immediately following the hearing outside the main entrance to the Judicial Center.
In addition, on Friday, September 29, at 12 noon, our legal team will host a conference call for people interested in learning more about the lawsuit and attending the hearing. RSVP for the call here.
You can find more information on this lawsuit, including profiles of the individual petitioners and case documents, on our website.
We look forward to advocating with you on October 4.
*The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania and individual petitioners in the case, through their attorneys from the Public Interest Law Center and Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP, have asked the court to move up the October 4 hearing on the stay to avoid further delay. As of this press release, however, the hearing is still scheduled for October 4th.