SCOTUS Rejects Pennsylvania Gerrymandering Appeal

Think Progress reports:

On Monday, the Supreme Court rejected an effort by Republican leaders in Pennsylvania to restore a Republican gerrymander that has allowed Republicans to dominate the state’s congressional delegation even in years when Democrats won the statewide popular vote.

Last month, the state supreme court ordered new maps drawn for the 2018 election. Now that the Supreme Court of the United States has officially stayed its hand, the state’s gerrymandered congressional districts are all but certain to become a relic of the past.

  • canoebum

    Where will they move the goal posts to next?

  • bkmn
  • Anastasia Beaverhousen

    ‘Denied, denied, denied.”

  • JWC

    so they should GOP has too many of these little deals

  • Gustav2

    One of the least populated rural counties R’s want to keep spiting 3 ways is Champaign (Urbana) County….Jim Jordan got his seat that way

    • Joe in PA

      Whatever we can do to remove that hack.

      • Gustav2

        Republicans Offer Take-It-Or-Leave-It Redistricting Plan

        And this changes presidential politics because D’s will think their votes count.

      • PickyPecker

        Did you catch the pics I posted on the last thread (Toddler starnes…)?

        • Joe in PA

          No, but I’ll go look, thanks for the tip. 🙂

        • Joe in PA

          Wow. I just left a message there, thanks again for posting. Fabulous.

          • PickyPecker

            You guys really should look into putting up a hoop. You’d enjoy it so much.

          • Joe in PA

            Yeah…I’d love to. I was just reading in AARP magazine (don’t judge) about how people in retirement (I retired very young thank you very much, ahem) should start spending and that people that have scrimped and saved their entire lives will find it hard. Food for thought. We sure aren’t leaving it to the kids.

          • thatotherjean

            My father always threatened that we’d open the will and the first paragraph would read, “Being of sound mind, I spent it all.” Fortunately, he didn’t.

          • Harley

            I want the last check I write to bounce.

          • B Snow

            Heh, reminds me of “Sheila Levine is Dead and Living in New York”.

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    Good news needed

  • Todd20036

    Wow. The SCOTUS got it right.

    • Judas Peckerwood

      Broken clock, blind squirrel, etc.

  • JackNasty

    I hope this decision signals an end to the egregious partisan gerrymandering in the House and in state legislatures the Republicans have propagated across the US in recent decades. .

    • Don’t hold your breath — the Republicans will fight these cases to the bitter end. And then they’ll come back and try it again.

    • The_Wretched

      State constitutional issues are by nature State only so a ruling for PA has no impact on anyone else.

      Federal Constitutional issues would be nationally controlling but we can expect slightly different fact patterns on a per appealate district basis so even if the NE was locked down with no gerrymanders, we’d still get cases everywhere else.

      The (R) cannot win fair and free elections. They will not give up the least inch they don’t have to. They have also been able to get to keep illegal districts for more than a decade even with losing at every step (as the illegal ones get to continue being used so long as they are contested).

  • R W C

    I need a SCOTUS gerrymandering case score card. How many have they taken action on (several is my general recollection) and what have been the outcomes?

    • Treant

      They almost always move to maintain it for as long as they can. Which is why I don’t have great hopes for the case in front of them now; conservatives see nothing wrong with cheating.

    • clay

      Wisconsin is the real one as far as SCOTUS is concerned.

  • Ninja0980

    Color me surprised on this one.
    I guess even some of the conservatives on SCOTUS realized how political it would look to do this.

    • Stephen Elliot Phillips

      Lol when did that ever stop them

      • Ninja0980

        Never but even this would have been a step too far I think.

        • david fairfield

          Lol, but every day a step too far goes a step too far.

      • Judas Peckerwood

        I think they hear the rumbling of the tumbrils in the distance.

    • John30013

      I wonder if this has any relevance to how they plan to rule on the Wisconsin gerrymandering case they heard this term….

  • Stephen Elliot Phillips

    This isnt good news for the rethuglican fiefdom of north carolina

  • boobert

    That’s encouraging !

  • Treant

    Applause! I guess somebody drugged Kennedy’s tea.

    • Joe in PA

      So maybe your congressional district (15) won’t stretch from NJ to Harrisburg? 🙂 Good times indeed.

      • Treant

        Exactly! It’s intentionally gerrymandered to be slightly Republican and should be “kinda Democratic.”

        There are at least four like that on a fair redraw.

        • Joe in PA

          At a minimum districts 6 (mine) and 7 (the Pluto-fucking-somebody shaped one).

          But as far as district 6 goes, Costello is on very thin ice as it is, I think we could take him even w/o a redraw.

          • Treant

            Dent in the 15th would be vulnerable…but he’s already announced retirement since he knows he’s not going to survive even a gentle blue wave.

            Now? With gerrymandering gone? Rewrite the 15th (or whatever number I end up being in) to be generally Democratic except during a Republican wave.

      • Smokey

        I’m in the 17th. We have a Dem but his main base is three counties away.

  • Butch

    Before we celebrate too much, I suspect that even the court conservatives realized how it would look to intervene in a case that involved only state law.

    • Scott Carpenter

      Like they did in Florida, you mean? That one hinged on state law, too, but they found a way.

  • Joe in PA

    I would love to see the look on my Breitbart-spewing congress critter’s face right now. Bwahahahaaha.

    • David Walker

      Yeah. It does kinda make you giggle, doesn’t it.

  • gaycuckhubby

    Fuck yes!
    Great for 2018

  • Boreal

    This is good news!

    Please start calling out the DNC for being silent, everyday, and letting trump frame the narrative. I did this morning. I told them I was pissed at the silence and that the blue wave would never come if they didn’t start counteracting the lies from trump.

    Democratic National Committee.
    Main Phone Number: 202-863-8000

    • Tread

      Completely and utterly ridiculous, the continued silence of the Democratic Party leaders.

      • Joe in PA

        Oh hey…but but…Donna Brazille was on Bill Maher’s show…does that count?

      • Boreal

        I also called both of my senators office with the same message.

        • Judas Peckerwood

          That’s a much more effective strategy than calling the DNC, because Members of Congress actually answer to their constituents (in theory anyway) on Election Day. They in turn can apply pressure to the party leaders.

          • Boreal

            I call Gillibrand’s office each week. This is the first time in months that anyone answered Schumer’s phones and I told them that was unacceptable that I couldn’t contact my senator by phone.

          • Judas Peckerwood

            Good. Sometime I think that Chuck forgets who he works for.

    • Judas Peckerwood

      Hate to say it, but for all the good it did you might just as well have called your local Domino’s. You at least would have gotten a pizza-like food product for your trouble.

      • Boreal

        I belong to a resistance group. If all 1000 people in our group call, and start calling then we might see some change.

        • Judas Peckerwood

          I sincerely wish you the best of luck. Though as as someone who has worked in national Dem politics for the past 35 year, I can tell you that the party leaders view you as uninformed riff-raff and will write you off completely, if they bother to think of you at all. Now if you had a few million bucks to throw their way….

          • Boreal

            That’s ok. There are people in my group that call every day. Some of them twice a day.

          • Judas Peckerwood

            Can’t hurt to keep trying, though as I mention in my reply to your comment above, applying pressure to Dem Members of Congress is a much more effective way to influence the DNC’s behavior.

    • mpatreyu

      I think they have absolutely no idea how to proceed. We are screwed if they don’t get off their butts and do something. They have no platform to speak of and about the only one saying anything of consequence is Schiff. Democrats need new leadership and candidates who espouse things other than they are not trump. That is just not going to work

      • The_Wretched

        Individual dems have been highly commendable. Schiff has risen to the occasion and is outstanding. Party leadership, however, seem to literally not care about anything. All the “calm down Perez is nearly Ellison anyway” people should fess up to supporting the status quo (oligarchs running a chaotic puppet).

    • BlueberriesForMe

      Why do they remind of the HRC? Cocktail parties, etc.
      I think Resistance groups like yours and local GOTV groups will
      be the ones to turn the tide if possible.

      • Boreal

        We still need a national party with a cohesive message so we will be hammering them for the next 9 months.

  • Charlie 2001

    So SCOTUS is respecting states rights.

    • AmeriCanadian

      Depends on the state. North Carolina and Texas are a no.

      • Cackalaquiano

        Right, what’s the difference here? Any legal folks willing to explain?

        • Judas Peckerwood

          The original PA state supreme court decision was based on a state constitution issue.

          • RobinP

            Indeed, the NC and TX cases were in federal court, whereas this one is in PA state court.

  • olandp

    All of this is going to have to be redone after the 2020 census too.

    • customartist

      another opportunity for Repubs to cheat

      • clay

        But with better, clearer rules that will make that harder.

  • friendlynerd

    First the super bowl and now this? It is a GOOD DAY in Philadelphia!

    • clay

      Is sunny.

  • Michael R
  • Tread

    Shaking the foundations. Get ready for the BLUE TSUNAMI.

  • Fifth-and-a-Half Element
    • Card

      But remember, those yutes won their case 🙂

  • Blake J Butler

    Damn, rejected. And rejected by Alito.

    Bitch that’s gotta burn.

    • TJay229

      I was just gonna say that

  • Blake J Butler
    • Boreal
      • customartist

        It’s 2:00 somewhere?

        • Boreal

          2:30 here now but I’m still working.

        • Dazzer

          AM or PM?

          It’s 7.30pm in London, so Patsy’s just warming up for a Monday night’s drinking.

      • Snarkaholic

        I’m glad to see that Patsy doesn’t skip breakfast…it’s the most important meal of the day!

  • Cackalaquiano

    O/t: is anyone else having serious problems with the page crashing repeatedly? This is on my brand new iPhone. It’s seriously prohibitive.

    • Harveyrabbit

      No. It’s fine on two different browsers.

    • Treant

      OK here on Chrome.

    • ScubaBearLA

      I’m on an iPhone 7+, using Chrome. Crashes have been way up in the last week.

  • billbear1961
  • Blake J Butler
  • Dreaming Vertebrate

    GOP swamp critters going down in PA!

    • clay

      It would be great to flip the PA House, ending Daryl Metcalfe’s veto over all proposed changes to how the state is run.

  • billbear1961
  • Slippy_World
    • Jefe5084

      is this Armmie Hammer?

    • holy hell. who is that?!
      good lord.

      • customartist

        “Call Me By Your Name”

  • billbear1961

    This is the work of JUSTICE, and it is MARVELLOUS in our eyes!

  • The_Wretched

    It’s worth noting that this isn’t really a districting issue. The PA SCT made a ruling based on the PA constitution. The FED SCT (SCOTUS) should not review it. This was a legal long shot from the GOP perspective. I caution reading too much into this ruling.

  • billbear1961
  • Ninja0980

    Btw, remember Joseph Scarnati, the Pennsylvania Senate leader who told the Pennsylvania Supreme Court he wouldn’t obey their order because they were biased?
    It appears he made a $25,000 donation to one of the two Republicans on the court, Sallie Mundy through his political action committee.
    And yet he wants to claim the Democrats are biased?

    • Dazzer

      Will he or the judge be held accountable in any way, shape or form?

      • Ninja0980

        They’re Republicans so of course not.

    • JWC

      GOP have the BIG RED “R” behind their names Laws do NOT apply They do NOT have to drive the moral highway

    • Chris Gardner

      That’s insane that judges can take political donations.

      • The_Wretched

        MN republicans about 5 years ago not only said they can take political donations but ‘gag laws’ on running judges had to go (and they largely won that case). By ‘gag laws’ they mean judges being proscribed from running on promising to rule a certain way on certain cases without having the cases before them.

  • Shevek

    Good news, although as a Democrat living in Maryland, I probably can’t point any fingers when it comes to gerrymandering.

    • Tomcat

      Both sides do it and a better way of setting districts needs to be found. One that is fair to all sides.

      • Shevek

        Yeah, I’d be totally open to a fairer system if it applied to every state. I’m over taking the high ground just to watch the Republicans win elections, though.

        • The_Wretched

          I’m good with something like a 1 person 1 vote standard. Under that total district out comes must be more or less in line with the popular vote.

        • customartist

          Dems must fight fire with fire.
          Maybe someday they will come to acknowledge this reality.

      • clay

        Better, fairer, quicker, cheaper way has been found. This appeal was about the PA state legislators not wanting to use it.

    • Ninja0980

      Only difference is our side is willing to see them struck down for fairness.

  • Tomcat

    OT: looks like consumer confidence is the market is taking a powder.

    • OdieDenCO

      1534 points down since 26 Jan

      • #winning!!

      • Boreal
      • The_Wretched

        Talking heads are blaming the increase in wage growth and the FED raising interest rates (well the interbank rate the fedgov loans to banks at). I think the blame should be on the TAX CUT = LOOTING that recently happened along with idiotic erasure of governance rules.

        • customartist

          It was bound to happen.
          The cycle has repeated repeatedly. This should be no surprise.
          Republicans KNOW that inflation, debt, recession, rate increases will come as a result of their actions, but they lie to the public saying that this is a “good thing”.

      • William
        • What a pleasant blast from the past! Thanks!!

      • Damn! That’s a huge slide. Must be why huckster-in-chief hasn’t crowed about the stock market lately.

    • Friday

      It’s almost as if when you gut all regulations and consumer protections and corporate accountability and even *cancelling energy consumption labels,* it doesn’t take long for people to stop buying new things with confidence. Especially after the first time they buy something that turns out to be crap.

  • Rascal

    This is great news.

    If the districts are redrawn, the Democrats should pick up 2 to 4 additional seats.

  • William

    Now if we can do the same in Texas.

    • JWC

      nobody tells Texas what to do they are too blockheaded

      • customartist

        Blockheaded being a nice way of saying Arrogant

        • JWC

          If a good part of Arrogant can mean stupid I do NOT mean to call out all Texans as there are many good one but they are tarred with this same brush

          • customartist

            We get our share of tar in the Carolinas

          • JWC

            I firmly believe that the South has never accepted that they lost the war and to that end there is a great deal of arrogant attitude in the south The policies of Jeffy Noregard, Roy Mooreand many others down that way

    • clay

      (South Carolina, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Maryland . . . )

  • What I found remarkable was the sheer brazen lawlessness of the PA Senate & House Republicans.

    PA Supreme Court: “These maps are unconstitutional under both US and Pennsylvania law. Redraw them or use this one we’ve provided.”
    PA GOPers: “Nah, not gonna.”

    Honestly, more than anything else, this speaks to the civil decay in American, when one of the two major parties sees “defy the law” as a valid policy strategy. It concerns me quite a lot.

    • The_Wretched

      Gorsuch being on the SCOTUS is a violation of law and tradition. The rot starts at the top and is every level of the Republicans (and I’m not entirely sure about the dems).

      • Of course it does, that’s just yet another example. Really, the knife was brought out in the bogus Clinton impeachment…and plunged deeply, possibly fatally, into the body politic with Bush v Gore, by SCOTUS.

      • -M-

        Political corruption is an inherent problem of politics. The difference between Democrats and Republicans there is that with Republicans the corruption is considered legitimate and the whole party coordinates the criminal enterprise.

  • customartist

    Multiple States’ Attorneys General filed briefs in support of Pennsylvania.
    Why other States are involved in Pennsylvania’s issues is beyond me?

    • LeeCMH

      Because of “full faith and credit.”

      • Because also these state AGs want the ruling to turn out a particular way because GOP gerrymandering after the 2010 census was an actual nationwide project.

        It was called the Red Map Project.

      • customartist

        Perhaps I wrote that incorrectly. Sorry.
        They supported the Republicans.
        The other States were all-or-mostly red.
        South Carolina was one of them.

        • The_Wretched

          Amici noise is common. Politics matters to judges. The courts also want all interested parties to back a final decision and that’s much less likely if they never get to provide input (even when it’s not their case). As such, big name cases get a raft of amici-briefs. It’s extremely normal.

    • infmom

      Because those states don’t want to have a precedent set that will force them to un-gerrymander too.

  • As a former PA resident, I’m both surprised and pleased at how fair the court’s redrawn map appears to be.

    The districts are compact, yet also make geographic sense.

    • The_Wretched

      And the district lines don’t look like a mad wizzard’s finger doodles.

      • clay

        You say “mad wizzard”, I say “Republican caucus”.

        • The_Wretched

          In that case, it’s a ‘Grand Wizard’s’ doodle.

          • fuow

            Maybe that’s why the lines are drawn so poorly – the rethugs couldn’t see through the dirty sheets over their heads when they drew them.

    • I have an idea about voting districts and equal representation. Each district is “at large”, and the candidates are based off of census data, but not just raw numbers of people. My idea is that the population is divided by gender, and race. So if 75% of the population is black with 49% female, they would have that proportion of seats in that district. What do ya think?

      • clay

        I think that sounds like a parliament or a duma.

        • All I know is we have proven ourselves to not cheat when drawing voting districts

      • 2guysnamedjoe

        By “at large”, do you mean each legislative seat is statewide? If so, that would mean each candidate will have to run a statewide campaign. Who would put up the money for those campaigns?

        • No, they would represent their entire district, instead of a small piece of it like now.

    • JCF

      Doesn’t Dist 11 still look a little weird?

    • Dana Stinson

      I’d either be in 6 or 16.. Too close to tell.

    • clay

      . . . and the hypothetical nonpartisan districts took only a day to develop, rather than weeks and weeks and weeks of locked door partisan dithering.

  • Will Parkinson

    Shocked. Shocked, I say.

  • Lars Littlefield

    I am amused and amazed, but mostly happy.

  • Skeptical_Inquirer


  • fuzzybits

    Shocked,but happy.

  • TwoHusbandsSince1976

    Grrrrrrrreat & very surprising ruling! Other states now could follow Pennsylvania’s lead in establishing this precedent before November 2020 .

  • Wow. Even Alito wouldn’t back up their gerrymandering scam.

  • JCF
  • anne marie in philly

    thank the dogs and cats! now git offa yer fat white GOPricks asses and redraw those lines, PA guvmint! PS – my PA D house rep has already come up with a new drawing.

  • amandagirl15701
  • I heard a rumor (maybe here?) that the PA GOP is now considering mounting a recall campaign against the state S.C. justices who voted to overturn the gerrymandered districts, anyone know details?