An effort to impeach four Pennsylvania Supreme Court justices for overturning and replacing the state’s gerrymandered map for congressional districts has been effectively extinguished.
A dozen Republicans introduced resolutions last week to impeach Justices Christine Donohue, Kevin Dougherty, Debra Todd, and David Wecht, all Democrats.
The first match in this partisan brush fire was lit by State Rep. Cris Dush (R., Jefferson), and for a while it threatened to flame into a blaze that could have consumed the notion that equal branches of government keep check on each other.
This is pyromania as politics. A disappointing court ruling is not license to burn it all down.
But State Rep. Dave Reed, the Republican majority leader from Indiana County, stepped in and doused all that, announcing that while he opposed the court’s approach on drawing a new map for the districts, “disagreement over the outcome of any particular case should not be grounds for impeachment.”
This is legislative leadership setting aside partisan rancor, something not seen often enough in Harrisburg. Reed, as majority leader, controls which bills and resolutions come for votes in the House.
Impeachment would require a majority 102 votes in the 203-seat House, where there are 119 Republicans, 81 Democrats, and three vacant seats. Then, two-thirds of the state Senate, where there are 34 Republicans and 16 Democrats, would have to vote to convict.
Reed was right to stamp this out before it caught fire among his fellow Republicans and burned us all.