March 17th, 2022
On Wednesday, March 16, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court unanimously upheld the State House and Senate maps drawn by the LRC, finalizing Pennsylvania's legislative voting maps for the next decade.
This followed last week's news that our congressional districts are set, meaning the Commonwealth's redistricting endeavor has come to an end. (Cue the Sarah McLachlan music.)
Draw the Lines applauds the fact that the Court, composed of five Democrats and two Republicans, unanimously agreed that the maps were constitutional. As we've noted, the House map was a significant improvement over the previous decade. The Senate map, while not as dramatic of an improvement, is a better map as well. Our parent organization, the Committee of Seventy, filed an amicus brief to the Court with the League of Women Voters and Fair Districts PA in support of these maps.
If you haven't read it yet, Chairman Mark Nordenberg previously released a comprehensive report summarizing the LRC's mapping process. We were continually impressed by his leadership on the commission. One of DTL's primary initiatives in early 2021 was to make sure the fifth person on the commission was an independent voice with a reputation for fairness and bipartisanship. Chancellor Nordenberg proved to be up to the task.
Lastly, we offer a note of congratulations to the all-volunteer army with Fair Districts PA, who has spent six years pushing this process to yield fairer legislative maps in which either party could gain a majority. Also a hat-tip to PA Voice, whose unity maps in five cities throughout PA helped give the LRC a roadmap for increasing the political voice of communities of color, in neighborhoods that have typically been marginalized through the redistricting process.
Ultimately, as noted in an op-ed in The Inquirer this week, we still have a ways to go to fully reform our redistricting process. Draw the Lines is not done yet. We'll have more info coming next week on what is next from our project and from the Committee of Seventy.