March 16, 2022–The Public Interest Law Center and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund have released a statement on the recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision upholding the Legislative Reapportionment Commission’s (LRC) final plan for state house and senate district lines. The law firms filed an amicus brief supporting the redistricting plan, representing formerly incarcerated Pennsylvania voters and the NAACP Pennsylvania State Conference, joined by pro bono co-counsel from Hogan Lovells. Please reach out to the media contacts above for further comment.
Today, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court preserved a significant step forward toward fair representation for all Pennsylvania voters. The LRC’s choice to count nearly 30,000 incarcerated Pennsylvanians in their homes, rather than their cells, when drawing state house and senate district lines makes enormous progress towards ending the practice of “prison gerrymandering” in our Commonwealth. The LRC’s map also preserved fairer districts for voters by rightly prioritizing factors such as equal population of districts over the protection of incumbent politicians.
Quote from Ben Geffen, staff attorney at the Public Interest Law Center
“For too long in Pennsylvania, prison gerrymandering has warped representation in the state legislature, shifting power from urban and predominantly Black and Latino communities to rural and white communities where prisons are located. Today, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has upheld fair district lines that take major steps toward giving all communities the voice they deserve in Harrisburg.”
Quote from Blanding Watson, President of the NAACP Pennsylvania State Conference
“We applaud the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to remove prison gerrymandering from the state’s redistricting process. We believe this final map will ultimately help establish more equitable conditions for all voters and will particularly benefit the state’s Black and Latinx communities.”