League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania et al.
v. Commonwealth et al.
(Pa. Supreme Ct. 2018)

In this case, Petitioners challenged the existing Congressional Map adopted by Pennsylvania’s Legislature after the 2010 Census as an extreme gerrymander in violation of the Pennsylvania Constitution.

Amicus Curiae The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law filed a brief in support of Petitioners, which argued that Pennsylvania’s Congressional Map was an extreme, unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. The Brennan Center explained that the presence of the objective factors of single-party control and a recent history of close statewide elections prior to the adoption of the Congressional Map strongly supported the conclusion that the map’s partisan bias was intentional. In addition, empirical analysis of recent Congressional election results further supported the conclusion that the Map was heavily and unusually biased in favor of the party that controlled the redistricting process. The extreme partisan gerrymandering in Pennsylvania undermined the elected members accountability to their constituents, and resulted in a congressional delegation that no longer was representative of the voters they purport to represent.

After briefing and argument, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court found that Pennsylvania’s Congressional Redistricting Act of 2011 violates the Pennsylvania Constitution, directed the Pennsylvania Legislature to submit a revised Map for consideration by Governor Wolf, and, in the event that the Legislature failed to do so or that the Governor failed to accept the proposed Map, provided that the Court would proceed expeditiously to adopt a congressional districting plan based on the evidence developed in this case.

BLF attorneys Richard L. Bazelon, A. Richard Feldman, and Lisa A. Barton served as local counsel for Amicus Curiae The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.

© 2018 Bazelon Less & Feldman, P.C. All rights reserved.