Monday, February 05, 2018

Great News For Pennsylvania Voters From The U.S. Supreme Court (No, Really)


The Republicans got greedy and now the whole state will be redrawn

A friend of mine called last night and I could practically hear him biting his nails. He was being driven to distraction over his fear that the U.S. Supreme Court-- and especially his neighbor Samuel Alito-- was about to overturn the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's ruling striking down the legislature's ├╝ber-partisan gerrymandering. Today the Alito-- for the U.S. Supreme Court-- denied the request from Senate President Joe Scarnati and House Speaker Mike Turzai to delay drawing new congressional maps. That means they either finish by Friday or the state Supreme Court draws the districts themselves!

They better get busy! They've stalled and wasted a month. If they already started working on it today, they have almost 5 days, more or less. Oh, and they have to get Gov. Tom Wolf (D) to agree with whatever they come up with. The Philly suburban districts are going to look a lot different, that's for sure. The worst gerrymandered district (PA-07) will certainly be gone and will probably turn into a more compact Delaware County district, although the population is only around 560,000 so it will have to include a bit of either Montgomery or Chester. (The incumbent, Part Meehan, has already announced he's not running for reelection, primarily because he was caught using tax payer funds to pay off a woman staffer hush company, although a less friendly map may have played a significant role as well.) If it includes some of Montgomery, I'll bet state Senator Daylin Leach, who lives there, will jump back into the congressional race. This morning he told me this: "If you had asked me 5 years ago what 3 things I would most like to see accomplished in Pennsylvania I would have said 1. Marriage equality, 2. legalizing medical marijuana, and 3. fixing the obscene congressional gerrymander. I am ecstatic that with today's US Supreme Court decision all 3 things on my wish list have been achieved. Finally, the voters will again be relevant in Pennsylvania congressional elections. This is a great day for democracy, at a time in our history when democracy doesn't have a lot of great days.;"

I'm going to guess that the other incumbents besides Meehan who are freaking out today are Ryan Costello (PA-06), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-08), and Keith Rothfus (PA-12)-- and whomever was planning on taking over for Charlie Dent (PA-15), Tim Murphy (PA-18), Bill Shuster (PA-09) and Lou Barletta (PA-11) all of whom are leaving Congress.

The progressive Democrat opposing Rothfuss seemed buoyed by what Alito did a few hours ago: "Today's decision to stay out of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision was a huge win for constitutional law, Democracy and the people to choose their representatives instead of the representatives choosing the voters. The playing field has been leveled in Pennsylvania, Keith Rothfus will have to run on his record and platform and that will not fair well for him. A millionaire lawyer backed by the Koch Brothers will have to convince the voters of the new district that he is a better representative than the veteran and scientist from Washington county. Although it's still a David versus Goliath story in terms of money, I believe that I have the people behind my message and today's decision has put the power of the election back into their hands."

And Jenny Marshall, a candidate in North Carolina was feeling solidarity today for the Democrats in Pennsylvania. She said that "The Supreme Court's decision regarding Pennsylvania's legislative maps gives me hope for the future of North Carolina. In our state, gerrymandered maps have diminished the freedom of constituents to choose their elected officials. Instead, our elected officials choose their constituents. The practice of unfair maps and political gerrymandering must come to an end if we hope to uphold the most basic tenets of our democracy. I am hopeful that North Carolina will be next to receive a Supreme Court order for fair maps."

Meanwhile, just moments ago-- back in Pennsylvania-- far right extremists in the state legislature, led by crackpot Cris Dush sent out a co-sponsorship memo for the impeachment of Justices Max Baer, David Wecht, Debra Todd, Christine Donahue and Kevin Dougherty.

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At 3:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yet this clearly partisan SCOTUS recently refused to do anything in North Carolina. I don't trust this particular Court as far as I can throw Scaliar in the Afterlife.

At 6:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At some point in the very near future, even the SC will not avoid obvious political partisanship. It's one thing to find, 5-4, in favor of corporations and the wealthy and find against human beings... always. But it's another thing to insert itself directly into the daily political operations of the republican party against the democrap party.

But I wouldn't celebrate. It will happen. Just as trump and Rs are slowly destroying all remaining governmental efficacy, to the sound of crickets, the SC SHALL, if necessary, insert itself into this process as the money's last firewall.

I also wouldn't celebrate redrawing districts. Even fairly drawn, the Rs will retain a plurality in PA and could even end up with a bigger one in NC.

As the people get dumber and more evil; and as the democraps prove to be more corrupt and feckless, these states will get redder (or less blue). If '18 or '20 seem to be a reversal of the reddening, it will restart after the democraps prove that they are shit should they forge a small majority again.

Or do we not remember 2006-2009? I'm sure 98% of voters in PA and NC shitholes have forgotten.


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