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Common Cause Pennsylvania Renews Opposition to Judicial Districts Amendment

During today’s meeting of the House Judiciary Committee, Common Cause Pennsylvania Executive Director Khalif Ali submitted testimony strongly opposing House Bill 38, the Judicial Districts Amendment. This unprecedented bill would take voters’ power over our courts away and eviscerate judicial independence. It is opposed by many former Pennsylvania judges, both Democratic and Republican as well as news media editorial boards around the state.

Common Cause PA Opposes House Bill 196

House Bill 196 has dangerously re-emerged in the Senate, and was voted out of the Senate State Government Committee in a party-line vote today. Common Cause Pennsylvania continues to actively oppose the bill, which would establish judicial districts here in the Commonwealth. Electing judges in expensive, partisan elections by judicial districts subverts the role of the judiciary and encroaches on the roles of the other two branches of government.

Senate Bill 22….Again? We Say Not Good Enough…Again.

On Tuesday, April 9th the Senate State Government Committee will vote on Senate Bill 22, the same constitutional amendment from Spring 2018 which established a politician-appointed commission to draw legislative and congressional district lines. While we appreciate the continued commitment of Committee Chairs Mike Folmer, Anthony Williams and their colleagues as well as bill sponsor Senator Lisa Boscola to reforming the Pennsylvania redistricting process, as written, this bill is insufficient to address the concerns of Pennsylvanians who are tired of the proverbial fox guarding the henhouse when it comes to drawing fair and representative districts.

The Fight Doesn’t End, Redistricting Reform Will Move Forward

On Monday, June 25th the Pennsylvania legislative assembly adjourned for what is probably the final time until September without passing redistricting reform legislation. During recent weeks heavy activity was focused on attempts to pass a redistricting bill to improve the process of drawing congressional and legislative maps in Pennsylvania.

18 Plaintiffs Who Challenged Pennsylvania Gerrymander Receive Democracy Defender Award

On May 21st Common Cause Pennsylvania presented the Democracy Defender Awards to the eighteen plaintiffs of the PA Supreme Court gerrymandering case during the Democracy Works Summit, held at the Sheraton Downtown Hotel in Philadelphia. The award is given to a group, organization or individual who has displayed commitment to achieving democracy in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The plaintiffs, who represented each of Pennsylvania’s 18 congressional districts, provided testimony on the adverse impacts of the extreme partisan gerrymander passed by the legislature in 2011. Since the successful court challenge to the map, the group has continued, beyond the successful court case, to become strong advocates in promoting solutions to issues such as gerrymandering, voting rights, and others. Some have contributed opinion letters to newspapers, been featured speakers with community groups, and a variety of other activities to help promote democracy.

Senate Bill 22 Only a Half Measure to Fix Gerrymandering

On Tuesday, May 22nd the Senate State Government Committee took a small step in the right direction toward fixing our broken redistricting process, but there is much more work to be done. Committee Chairs Mike Folmer, Anthony Williams and their colleagues responded to the outcry of Senator Lisa Boscola, concerned citizens, and reformers to fix the dysfunctional way Pennsylvania handles the drawing of congressional and legislative districts.

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