Representatives of Anti-Gerrymandering Groups Argue for Fair Maps at the Pennsylvania Supreme Court
Today, the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court held a hearing on Congressional Redistricting where lawyers for all the parties and amici who submitted maps for consideration in the Commonwealth Court proceeding argued about the relative merits of their maps and mapmaking processes.
The Ali Amici, a group of voters from across the commonwealth, including registered democrats, republicans and nonaffiliated voters argued that their proposed map should be adopted by the Court. Specifically, they argued that the Ali Amici map adhered to traditional redistricting criteria, protect communities of interest, and used data that reallocates incarcerated individuals from their cells to their homes. Collectively, these map features serve to ensure that all Pennsylvania’s communities are fairly represented and have an equal opportunity to elect a candidate of their choice.
“We believe that the Court should select the Ali Map because it does the best job of protecting communities of interest, while complying with the neutral redistricting criteria,” said Ben Geffen, attorney for the Ali Amici. “Every Pennsylvanian deserves to be fully and equally represented – regardless of party affiliation, race, or whether they are currently incarcerated.”
Khalif Ali, executive director of Common Cause PA and named amici said, “Redistricting is about more than math or partisan politics. Instead, it’s about ensuring that all Pennsylvania communities, but particularly Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, and other communities of color who have historically been left out or harmed by the redistricting process, can have their voices heard in our democracy. We set out to create a map that upheld these ideals and we are hopeful that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will select our proposed map.”
The Supreme Court now has the difficult job of selecting which map from the 13 submitted maps should be adopted and serve as Pennsylvania’s congressional map for the next decade.
The group filed its brief objecting to Special Master Judge McCullough’s recommendation that the Supreme Court adopt the Republican Caucuses map, also known as HB 2146, with the Court on Monday. Benjamin D. Geffen of the Public Interest Law Center presented the argument on behalf of the Ali Amici, who are represented by the Public Interest Law Center and Martin Black of Dechert, LLP.
To listen to the hearing click here. Argument for the Ali Amici begins at 5:15:00.