The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has remanded a redistricting plan that would benefit the Republican incumbents. A proposal from December 2011 drawn up by the 2011 Legislative Reapportionment Commission sought to divide cities and neighborhoods into new districts in a way that some perceive would benefit Republican incumbents. “It is generally the case that whatever party is in control of the district will protect that party,” Political Science professor Marc Meredith said. To the surprise of many, the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court — which has a Republican majority — remanded the redistricting proposal on Jan. 25, sending it back to the Commission, saying that the plan was “contrary to the law.”
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, this is the first time a redistricting plan has not been approved since 1968, when the state adopted a revised constitution. It has been a long tradition of the Supreme Court accepting redistricting plans based on partisan favoritism.
But in a four to three decision, Repub. Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille voted with the Democrats to remand the proposal. Districts are now divided according to the 2001 redistricting plan. The current districts will continue to be used until the Court approves another plan.