Pennsylvania Republicans to File Supreme Court Challenge. Again.

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

I don't want to tempt fate by saying this definitely isn't going to work, but it seems like a very peculiar strategy to me.

Republicans in Pennsylvania are following through on their threat to challenge the congressional district map drawn by the state Supreme Court, but they aren't going to file an appeal in federal district court as I expected.

Well, they are, but not exactly.

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Top Republican lawmakers will ask the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to block implementation of a new Pennsylvania congressional map, House Speaker Mike Turzai, R-Bradford Woods, said.

Mr. Turzai and Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson, have fought the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for weeks, following the court ruling last month overturning the previous congressional map as a partisan gerrymander. The state high court imposed a new, court-drawn map Monday, prompting renewed vows of federal challenges.

Meanwhile, a second federal challenge is also expected as early as Wednesday, led by national Republicans and other state lawmakers. (Mr. Scarnati and Mr. Turzai are not involved with the second lawsuit.)

It should be obvious but if the Supreme Court denies their appeal and allows the maps to be adopted, again, a second (third?) challenge in federal district court would be pointless.

It's only been three weeks since the Supreme Court rejected the state GOP's first appeal and, at this point, I figure they're probably getting annoyed by Republicans across the country demanding immediate hearings in front of the Supreme Court.

In my headcanon, Chief Justice Roberts rolls his eyes with each new demand to bypass federal district courts and run directly into the arms of the Gorsuch, Thomas, and Alito.

We should know how this story is going to end within the next week or two.

  • Draxiar

    “How dare they not let us rig the system in order to cheat democracy!”

  • And failing that they’re going to try to impeach the PA Justices.

    Anti-democratic wankers.

    • Victor the Crab

      And don’t think they haven’t given THAT idea any thought.

      • I know they have. It was in the news today. US Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) endorsed it.

        Because they’re assholes.

        • David Greenberg

          There you go giving assholes a bad name.

    • JMAshby

      They may try, but it will never happen. It would take them literally years to go through the process of impeaching each individual judge (about a dozen) and they may not even have enough votes to do it, especially not after the new maps are adopted.

  • Victor the Crab

    If at third, forth, fifth, sixth, etc time you don’t succeed, try, try again. The rule of thumb as written by the Republican party.

  • muselet

    Pennsylvania Rs—well, Rs in general—want the Supremes to rule that even ludicrously obvious gerrymandering of congressional districts for purely partisan reasons is constitutionally hunky-dory, no exceptions (well, one exception: Ds aren’t allowed to do it).

    I can imagine at least three, maybe as many as five, of the current crop of justices would be receptive to that argument. That thought scares me.


    • ninjaf

      After Roy Moore, Republicans showed their true colors: they feel no one but them has a right to be in positions of power and authority. It’s time American’s teach them a lesson. And I am OK if that lesson starts with the judicial system until the next election, when the voters can do it.

      • muselet

        Me, I’d say the GOP started feeling that way around the start of the Civil Rights Era, but yes, you’re absolutely right.