The Eagles Won and Pennsylvania’s Gerrymandering Is Finally Dead

The Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl yesterday. But that wasn’t the only good news for Pennsylvania. There’s more.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently ruled that the Republican gerrymandering of the state’s congressional districts was wildly unconstitutional. That is, it violates the state constitution. Republicans immediately appealed to the US Supreme Court, which was a savvy move since Samuel Alito, the most conservative justice on the court, represents the district that includes Pennsylvania. If there was even a ghost of a case to be made, he’d recommend that the full court take a look.

He didn’t. Even Sam Alito could see there was just nothing there. So that’s that. One way or another, Pennsylvania’s districts will be redrawn in a tolerably honest way for the 2018 elections.

It’s worth noting that since this is based on state law, it has no bearing on the gerrymandering cases the Supreme Court is deciding this year. Those cases will be based on federal law and the US Constitution. Still, the mere fact that other courts are starting to rule against egregiously partisan gerrymandering efforts creates a favorable environment. I’m cautiously optimistic that the court will at least set out some minimal ground rules when it issues its gerrymandering opinion later this year.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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