In what may qualify as the ultimate Quixotic exercise, lawyers representing parties challenging the state’s new legislative boundary maps made their case - as they do every decade - before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
The big difference on Monday was that the public was able to listen in for the first time thanks to the court’s decision to allow the Pennsylvania Cable Network to broadcast the oral arguments live.
And they got treated to plenty of lively banter over the maps particularly from Democrats on the court: Justice Max Baer questioning the “iron cross”-shaped Senate district that courses through three counties in the mid-state. Justice Seamus McCaffery wondered how another Senate district that snakes from South Philly to Roxborough could be considered “compact” under the law.
Attorneys representing nine different plaintiffs argued there was no justification for splitting counties and municipalities - among them Upper Darby and Swarthmore - into politically gerrymandered districts.