Harrisburg, July 6, 2012 – State Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa said that the Senate Democratic appeal of the Legislative Reapportionment Commission Final Plan was filed with the Supreme Court today. (View Sen. Costa’s Statement)
Costa, on behalf of his caucus, is asking the court to review the map that was approved by the commission June 8 on a 4-1 vote, with Costa voting no. Costa (D-Allegheny) says the partisan map has far too many unnecessary county splits in violation of the Pennsylvania Constitution and that the commission failed to heed the guidance of the court’s opinion when it rejected the first gerrymandered map.
In January, the Supreme Court threw out the first version of the redistricting plan saying that the map contained far too many unnecessary splits. It remanded the plan back to the Legislative Reapportionment Commission for reconsideration.
Costa’s comments on the filing are as follows:
“The Senate Democrats filed an appeal with the state Supreme Court asking that the redistricting plan adopted in June by the Legislative Reapportionment Commission be overturned. The partisan map the commission approved contained far too many county splits, was drawn to explicitly help Republicans retain their Senate majority at the expense of citizens’ rights, and was adopted in violation of due process.
“During commission consideration of the final plan, I offered a specific amendment that would have significantly reduced the number of the county splits while holding the population deviation steady. Despite the value of reducing splits and hewing to Constitution, the commission rejected my amendment thus validating my position that the final map contained unnecessary splits and was flawed.
The final map does an injustice to Sen. Ferlo’s district without an opportunity for Sen. Ferlo’s constituency to comment and contains unnecessary splits in Beaver, Cumberland, Dauphin, Montgomery, Washington and Allegheny Counties, among others, that are for political reasons and not grounded in constitutional law. The plan should be reviewed closely and rejected because it puts us back to where we started – with a plan that is unconstitutional.”