HARRISBURG— Pennsylvania’s Republican party is gearing up to take their redistricting battle to the US Supreme Court. They say the state Supreme Court drawing the map is a violation of the state constitution.
Local house member Fred Keller (R-85, Kreamer) agrees, he says the court does not have the authority to make their own map, “The courts have the authority to say look this law needs to be redone, that’s their opinion they said redo it. It’s not their opinion then to rewrite the law themselves, that comes to the general assembly. To give the general assembly 18 days to come up with a map where the majority of 253 in the general assembly are going to agree with it quite frankly is a little unrealistic.”
The Democratic-majority state high court ruled last month that Pennsylvania’s district boundaries were unconstitutionally gerrymandered. Keller points out the previous map was passed in a bipartisan effort back in 2011, “That map need 102 votes to pass and it only received 100 republican votes 40% of the democrats in the state house in 2011 supported that map.”
The new map won’t apply to March’s special election in southwestern Pennsylvania’s 18th District, but will be in effect for the May 15 primary everywhere else in Pennsylvania. We’ve reached out to a number of state and national representatives and only Rep. Keller has responded.