The Republican Party can never again call themselves the party of law and order. Clearly they are not. They are determined to break the law in order to hold on to power.
The Brennan Center for Justice has called the Pennsylvania congressional map one of the worst gerrymanders in the entire country. Since Republicans gerrymandered their map in 2011 they have won 13 of 18 congressional seats in every election, despite the fact that they only won about 50% of the vote.
In January, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the gerrymandered map was unconstitutional. And they ordered the Republicans to redraw the map before the 2018 midterm elections. But the Republicans really don’t want to give up their power. So they appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
But, on Monday, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, who oversees the 3rd Circuit which includes Pennsylvania, denied the case without referring it to the whole court. That means that Pennsylvania Republicans will have to redraw the map.
But now there is question whether or not the Republicans will comply with the court orders.
“In a joint statement, Pennsylvania House Speaker Michael Turzai (R) and Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R) were defiant, saying they still did not believe the state’s congressional map was illegal. They said the Pennsylvania Supreme Court had “handicapped” Alito by failing to provide a full opinion to accompany its order to redraw the state’s congressional map.”
““It is astounding that fourteen days after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled the map to be unconstitutional, the Justices have still not issued a majority opinion. This irresponsible approach handicapped Justice Alito by not providing him with more information, just as it has handicapped the Legislature,” they said in the statement.”
Turzai and Scarnati said that they would “do [their] best” to come up with a new map in the timeframe they’ve been given. But they added that they “may be compelled to pursue further legal action in federal court.”
“The ruling from the high court ended Republicans’ last pending legal appeal on redrawing the state’s map, but Republicans in the state may not be done fighting. Scarnati has indicated he won’t comply with a court order to hand over information to assist the court in drawing the map because he believes it’s unlawful.”
And it gets even worse.
Now the Pennsylvania Republicans are talking about impeaching members of the state Supreme Court because they don’t like the ruling.
“State Representative Cris Dush sent a memo to all members of the House seeking co-sponsors for an impeachment bill. In a speech to the chamber, he argued that the justices had “blatantly and clearly” contradicted the state constitution, and should thus be removed by the legislature.”
““This is a usurpation of the sovereign power of the legislature under the Pennsylvania Constitution,” he said. “In the Constitution, it’s a contract between the people and the government that they hired to oversee them. And the sovereigns in this issue are God, the people, and the legislature — in that order.””
The Republicans’ new mode of lawlessness is alarming, to say the least.