Common Cause/PA Announces Federal Lawsuit Against Act 44

Press Center

For Immediate Release

October 6, 2005

Contact: Barry Kauffman

(717) 232-9951

Common Cause/PA Files Federal Court Lawsuit Against Act 44

Good Morning. Thank you for joining us today.

It is with sorrow and disappointment that we again find ourselves in a position that requires us to take legal action against the misdeeds of Pennsylvania state government. Nevertheless, it is the duty of every Pennsylvania citizen to hold our government institutions and officials accountable for their actions. We, as citizens of Pennsylvania, have a solemn obligation to “support, obey and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this Commonwealth” (see PA Constitution, Article VI, Section 3). While our legislators swear an oath to do this. We the citizens actually will do it.

Common Cause, and our partner plaintiffs, filed suit in federal court today, because the massive violations of the state constitution in the passage of Act 44, constitute serious violations of our civil rights under the United States constitution. The violations of law in the passage of Act 44, coupled with similar violations in the passage of numerous other pieces of controversial legislation over the past decade, are extremely troubling — and damage the public’s faith in government. They demonstrate patterns of behavior that have become a standard operating procedure for denying Pennsylvania’s citizens their rights to participate in their government, to be fairly represented, and now even to have a trustworthy means of appeal in state courts. We believe it is time to terminate this disrespectful attitude toward Pennsylvania’s citizens and the Supreme Law of the Land.

Therefore, we are appealing to the federal judiciary to restore order and honor to the legislative, executive and judicial branches of Pennsylvania state government; to restore Constitutional government to the Keystone State. It is our sincerest hope that this litigation will be successful in returning Pennsylvania to being a state of law, rather than the playground of a whimsical political elite.

Thank you.