Gerrymandering Town Hall Scheduled Wednesday Online
LOWER FREDERICK PA – More than 800 people interested in learning about a Pennsylvania constitutional amendment to divide the state into judicial districts for appellate court elections are already registered for a virtual “Town Hall on Judicial Districts” scheduled for Wednesday (Jan. 6, 2021) from 4-5:30 p.m. by three statewide groups, according to township resident Ruth Yeiser.
The event – sponsored by Fair Districts PA, the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, and Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts – is free to attend and open to the public. Registration for the online session is available here.
The town hall features speakers League President Terrie Gross, Fair Districts PA Chair Carol Kuniholm, and a panel discussion with Fair Districts’ Legislative Director Patrick Beaty, Modern Courts President Deborah Gross, and retired U.S. Eastern District Court Judge Lawrence Stengel.
It’s prompted by the amendment, first passed in the 2019-2020 legislative session, which if enacted would reportedly empower the Legislature to create state judicial districts. Candidates for the PA Supreme Court and other appeals courts would be elected by voters in these districts rather than running statewide. If that amendment passes again in the coming session, it could go to a public vote as soon as the 2021 primary election.
Critics claim the amendment would undermine constitutional checks and balances among branches of state government and open the door to a new version of gerrymandering, an effort to purposely draw districts to obtain specific political results.
Fair Districts PA is a nonpartisan, statewide coalition of individuals and organizations who hope to ensure the political redistricting process in Pennsylvania is impartial, transparent and accountable.