This is a response to state Sen. Ryan Aument’s July 23 op-ed “Making the case for judicial districts.”
Nowhere in his piece did he mention the bills introduced to remedy the inequities of the state legislative reapportionment process which, when last done after the 2010 census, resulted in Pennsylvania’s Legislature being possibly the most unfairly gerrymandered in the nation.
The evidence: In 2018, Democrats received about 381,000 more votes (54.1% of the two-party votes cast vs. 45.8% cast for Republican candidates) in the statewide legislative races. However, the Republicans won 54.2% of the seats, while the Democrats were limited to winning only 45.8% of the races.
The main reason the 2010 reapportionment ended up the way it did was that Rapublicans, by virtue of having a majority on the state Supreme Court, were able to cast the tiebreaking vote to approve redrawn legislative maps that benefited them.
In 2017, Democrats were able to win the statewide judicial races and become a majority on the state Supreme Court, where they are now positioned to control the reapportionment process to be done in 2021.
All of a sudden, Aument and the Republicans are trying to fast-track a bill to amend the state constitution to allow for electing state Supreme Court justices regionally. Maybe if Republicans spent more time trying to appeal to a wider swath of the electorate instead of their own narrow base, this amendment wouldn’t be necessary.