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Pennsylvania GOP Leader Defies Anti-Gerrymandering Court Order

by Countable | 3.9.18

What’s the story?

Pennsylvania Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R) told the state supreme court on Wednesday that he was refusing its order to turn over gerrymandering data.

Why does it matter?

Last week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out the Republican-drawn congressional map, ruling that the gerrymandered districts "clearly, plainly and palpably" violate the state's constitution.

The state high court ordered the General Assembly to submit files "that contain the current boundaries of all Pennsylvania municipalities and precincts" by noon Wednesday.

But when the deadline arrived, Scarnati said that he would not turn over any of the requested data.

Lawyers for Scarnati argue that the state court is overstepping its authority, writing in a letter:

"In light of the unconstitutionality of the Court's Orders and the Court's plain intent to usurp the General Assembly's constitutionally delegated role of drafting Pennsylvania's congressional districting plan, Sen. Scarnati will not be turning over any data identified in the Court's Orders."

Following the ruling last week, Scarnati tweeted:

What do you think?

Do you support efforts to undo partisan gerrymandering? Do you live in Pennsylvania, or one of the other states that have been subject to partisan gerrymanders? What do you think the impact will be of these court decisions in your state?

Hit Take Action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.

—Josh Herman

Related Reading

(Photo Credit: JimIrwin / Creative Commons)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(225)
  • Amy
    02/03/2018
    ···

    I live in PA and I absolutely support efforts to stop gerrymandering. It is unconstitutional and skewing election results only silences the majority. Our country is supposed to be governed by the citizens, which is not happening with gerrymandering. If one party has to lie and cheat in order to “win elections,” then that party knows it is in the wrong.

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  • William
    02/02/2018
    ···

    SEE 2/5/2018 UPDATE ATTACHED AT END—————-Pennsylvania President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R) should and will be held in contempt of court as he should be!!! This is clearly another in the long line of corrupt republican practice - GERRYMANDERING!! Long used by the Republican Party to manipulate government to suppress the average American in favor of the wealthy elite!!!!! Trump is the perfect and direct example of this illegal manipulation!!! —— UPDATE. 2/5 “”CNN Politics: Supreme Court declines request from Pennsylvania GOP to stop redistricting”. ——- GOPS. ARE ARROGANT SOBS !!!

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  • Deirdre
    02/02/2018
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    It’s a court order that he is defying so arrest him

    Like (153)
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  • Michael
    02/02/2018
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    This is how we respond to a judges request? This is the age of Trump everybody thinks they’re above the law. It’s time to remove this cancer in our system!

    Like (132)
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  • Kswen
    02/03/2018
    ···

    This is ridiculous. Families are torn apart over minor marijuana sentences but GOP members can get away with this and never see the inside of a jail cell. Rigged much?

    Like (103)
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  • Darin
    02/02/2018
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    The only way the GOP can win is by fixing the game in their favor. This is deplorable.

    Like (94)
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  • jguy4669
    02/02/2018
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    Put him in jail for contempt of court. We're tired of politicians thinking they're above the law.

    Like (78)
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  • Hillary
    02/02/2018
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    Districts should be solely defined by existing borders- counties, states, townships. No politician should ever, ever be given the power to tilt the board in his favor for anything.

    Like (70)
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  • RadicalModerate
    02/02/2018
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    Voters choose their representatives. Representatives should never get to choose their voters.

    Like (57)
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  • Dave
    02/02/2018
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    “Pennsylvania's congressional districting plan, Sen. Scarnati (R) will not be turning over any data identified in the Court's Orders." I guess it you are a republican you can ignore / overlook rules, laws, count orders, lies, racists remarks and prosecution because it’s fake news and you’re above the law. It only applies to the common people.

    Like (57)
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  • I.Got.an.Idea...
    02/03/2018
    ···

    Wait....I thought Conservatives were above the law........ Ohh yeah.... that is just what they believe, until they stand before an ethical person or council.

    Like (41)
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  • Truly
    02/02/2018
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    Sure would be nice if the republicans held themselves to the same standards to which they hold everyone else. Do any of them think twice about breaking the law for their own gain? No, they don’t.

    Like (40)
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  • Andrew
    02/02/2018
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    SCARNATI MUST BE MADE TO BEND TO THE COURT’S AUTHORITY !!!!

    Like (40)
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  • John
    02/02/2018
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    Stop the partisan gerrymandering! If officials refuse to obey a court order, arrest them and hold them in contempt. Enough of the GOP attacks on voting rights!

    Like (35)
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  • Michael
    02/02/2018
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    He should be arrested for obstruction of justice and be made to resign.

    Like (32)
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  • Bluewitsend
    02/02/2018
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    Unfair practices of Pennsylvania must be stopped in Pennsylvania and any other state that is gerrymandering. The GOP continues to hurt our democracy in any way that benefits their own agenda. Gerrymandering by any party should be against the law and considered a grievous crime against our country.

    Like (30)
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  • Dawn
    02/02/2018
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    Politicians throwing tantrums because the court won't let them gerrymander districts to rig elections in their favor. I thought Republicans were the LAW AND ORDER party? In the end what we need is redistricting reform with an independent committee -- please encourage the state house & senate to pass HB722 (103 co-sponsors already!) and SB22!!! Let's do this the RIGHT way and take this power away from politicians in power and give it to the voters. No party should be able to rig the game in their favor.

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  • Denise
    02/03/2018
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    LOCK HIM UP!

    Like (21)
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  • Robert
    02/02/2018
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    President Trump was right when he was campaigning that the game is rigged. What he failed to tell was it is rigged in the GOP’s favor. The only way they can win is by cheating. Be sure to get out and vote and do your homework on who you’re voting for. It will be the only way we can make America smart again!

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  • Lilly.Forest
    02/02/2018
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    I live in Pittsburgh. I pay taxes and shovel my walk when it snows. I’m also a proud democrat who is DISGUSTED by the ILLEGAL gerrymandering affecting my state. My outrage is leading me to the city county building with a sign in hand and a shout coming from my mouth! Have the guts to win fair and square GOP! By cheating you prove that you are weak and pathetic. GOP is so afraid of the truth gerrymandering makes it blatant to everyone. I hope EVERYONE pays attention and votes accordingly. GET OUT THERE AND VOTE! It’s the only way we can dig out of this disaster the GOP has forced onto us.

    Like (19)
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