Conklin applauds Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s redistricting decision

CENTRE COUNTY, Jan. 22 – State Rep. Scott Conklin praised today’s Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that the state’s Congressional Redistricting Act of 2011 violates the Pennsylvania Constitution.

The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit against the commonwealth arguing that the state’s congressional redistricting that took place in 2011 was done in order to maximize the number of Republicans elected within certain districts after the 2010 census.

“I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision regarding the 2011 Congressional redistricting plan,” said Conklin, D-Centre County. “This decision underscores the need for Congressional redistricting reform. The political interests of incumbents should not come before the interests of the Pennsylvania electorate.”

The Supreme Court is prohibiting use of the current redistricting system in the 2018 elections, beginning with the primaries scheduled for May 15. The Supreme Court will draw and use its own plan in this year’s election if the General Assembly does not pass a new plan by Feb. 9 or if Gov. Tom Wolf does not approve the plan by Feb. 15.

“The law of the land is that voters choose their elected officials,” said Conklin. “For far too long, the redistricting process has allowed incumbents to choose their voters.”

Last week, Conklin introduced a bill that would create a Congressional Redistricting Commission and provide guidelines for the congressional redistricting process. By amending the Pennsylvania Election Code, the Congressional Redistricting Commission called for by Conklin’s H.B. 2020 would be established each year following a decennial census – as well as require the commission to adhere to redistricting principles created by state and federal law and court precedents.