Pennsylvania: State Supreme Court releases gerrymandering opinion: 2011 map violates ‘free and equal’ elections | Philadelphia Inquirer

Pennsylvania’s congressional map, as adopted in 2011, violates the state constitution’s guarantee that “elections shall be free and equal,” the state Supreme Court said Wednesday in an opinion explaining its gerrymandering order overturning the map more than two weeks ago. “An election corrupted by extensive, sophisticated gerrymandering and partisan dilution of votes is not ‘free and equal,’ ” Justice Debra McCloskey Todd wrote for the majority. In such circumstances, a “power, civil or military,” to wit, the General Assembly, has in fact “interfere[d] to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage.” The opinion came just two days before the deadline for lawmakers to pass a new congressional district map and send it to Gov. Wolf for approval, after the high court declared Pennsylvania’s congressional map an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander, drawn to benefit Republicans at Democrats’ expense.

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