Republicans move to remake court after gerrymandering case

June 17, 2018 - 9:44 am

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — After the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's Democratic majority threw out the Republican-drawn map of congressional districts as an unconstitutional gerrymander, Republicans raised talk of impeaching the court's Democratic justices.

That talk receded, but Republicans brought forward another plan that could limit the lifespan of the court's Democratic majority: changing the state's constitution to elect appellate court judges in districts, rather than in statewide elections.

Whether to move the idea farther down the path of amending the constitution is before the state Legislature in June's final days.

The bill passed the Republican-controlled Senate on Wednesday, blindsiding Democrats who called it a scheme to gerrymander the courts.

Four other states do something similar and it would address long-standing Republican complaints that candidates from Philadelphia and Pittsburgh win a disproportionate share of judicial elections.

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