Pennsylvania Redistricting Lawsuit


U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Review Pennsylvania Redistricting Case, Denying Legislative Leaders’ Third Request

October 29, 2018 — The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review the merits of a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision striking down and replacing the state’s 2011 congressional district map as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. The Court denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed in June by Pennsylvania’s legislative leaders, Speaker Mike Turzai and Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati.

“We are glad that this matter has finally been put to rest,” said Mimi McKenzie, legal director of the Public Interest Law Center. “There was no basis for the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in this case, decided solely on the basis of Pennsylvania law.”

As the successful petitioners in the redistricting case explained in their opposition to the petition, the legislative leaders’ arguments to the U.S. Supreme Court contradicted fundamental principles of federalism, longstanding precedent, and their own positions in previous lawsuits. The petitioners were represented by the Public Interest Law Center and Arnold & Porter.

In January 2018, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down the state’s 2011 congressional district map as a partisan gerrymander that “plainly and palpably” violated the Pennsylvania constitution’s Free and Equal Elections Clause. A new, fair, and constitutional map was put in place for next week’s election.