Sunday, August 2, 2015

Speaker asks federal court to intervene in reapportionment

State House Speaker Sam Smith is asking a federal court to prevent the use of district boundaries drawn in 2001 for state House and Senate seats being used in this year's election. Smith, in a lawsuit filed against the Pennsylvania Secretary of State, says using the old boundaries would "violate the voting rights of Pennsylvania citizens" because they are based on the 2000 census and populations in the districts have shifted since then.

Speaker asks federal court to intervene in reapportionment

0 comments

State House Speaker Sam Smith is asking a federal court to prevent the use of district boundaries drawn in 2001 for state House and Senate seats being used in this year's election.  Smith, in a lawsuit filed against the Pennsylvania Secretary of State, says using the old boundaries would "violate the voting rights of Pennsylvania citizens" because they are based on the 2000 census and populations in the districts have shifted since then.

Smith is on the hot seat here because, as speaker, he must call special elections for six state House seats that are vacant.  Three of them are in Philadelphia. The 169th District House seat in Northeast Philly and the 186th District House seat in South Philly became vacant this week when Denny O'Brien and Kenyatta Johnson became a City Council members.  The 197th District House seat opened up when Jewell Williams became Philadelphia Sheriff.

The state Supreme Court last week tossed out the Legislative Reapportionment Commission's plan to redraw district lines based on the 2010 Census.  That has lead to speculation, fired by Supreme Court Justice Max Baer's comments last week to Capitolwire, that the 2001 lines will be used this year.

That would keep the 169th District in Northeast Philly for now.  The commission's plan called for that district to be moved to York County.

0 comments
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
 
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
 Follow William on Twitter

David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
 Follow David on Twitter

PhillyClout Team
Also on Philly.com
letter icon Newsletter