Wednesday March 7, 2018
Developing a new map a simple thing to do.
The idea that Republican Party leaders were not given enough time to put together a new congressional map is absurd. In 2011, it took them a week. During the state Supreme Court hearings, their legal representatives said it would take them no more than three weeks, which they were given.
It takes a computer program just moments to do it once it has access to the necessary data. And that data is widely and easily available.
Equally absurd is the idea that the U.S. Constitution assigns this process exclusively to the legislature. Every legislature functions within the checks and balances of its state constitution. In Pennsylvania, the Legislature is supposed to approve a map and the governor can still send it back if it's not acceptable. If this process, for any reason, fails, the state courts can become involved. That's checks and balances at work.
In 1992, the state Supreme Court determined the congressional map because the Legislature failed to do so in a timely way. It was challenged in federal court and the appeal denied. The court's map was instituted. If anyone questions whether any of these wranglings should ever need to occur, they ought to be lining up behind redistricting reform. It's unconstitutional political interests manipulating the process that mucks it up.
An independent, transparent citizens commission with public input will end the wrangling and the manipulation. Readers should tell legislators to support redistricting reform, now. Support HB 722 and SB 22.
Time not a real issue in redistricting ruling