Gerrymandering, the practice of dividing up certain areas so that districts face outcomes that the particular party attempting the deed desire, is a contentious practice, indeed. Both sides often display great rage when it comes to this topic and the news coming out of PA. today shows just how testy those involved can get.
The Philadelphia Enquirer confirms that State Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R., Jefferson) has stated yesterday that “he would not turn over any data requested by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in the wake of the gerrymandering ruling that Republicans have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review.” The Republican feels that this is a “set up” and he is not going to be party to it.
Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court ruled the gerrymandering in question was unconstitutional, a decision that many in no way agree with. Just the same, they have demanded that the General Assembly turn over files “that contain the current boundaries of all Pennsylvania municipalities and precincts” by noon yesterday.
Via a letter to the court, Scarnati through his attorney refused to comply. Their argument is that the “state court is overstepping its authority.”
The lawyers wrote, “In light of the unconstitutionality of the Court’s Orders and the Court’s plain intent to usurp the General Assembly’s constitutionally delegated role of drafting Pennsylvania’s congressional districting plan, Sen. Scarnati will not be turning over any data identified in the Court’s Orders.”
In a footnote, the attorneys add that their client does not even have the data that they are requesting. “They are trying to ready themselves to draw maps,” stated Drew Crompton, Scarnati’s top lawyer. “Senator Scarnati believes they don’t have the power to do that and we shouldn’t help them in that effort.”
G.O.P lawmakers have shown that they don’t have time to draw up new lines and this is partly because the justices “did not provide a full opinion when they released the order overturning the map.”
“The General Assembly and its Legislative Data Processing Center do not maintain ESRI shape files that contain current boundaries of all Pennsylvania municipalities and precincts,” reads the letter.
This matter is going to be a back and forth that seems to never end, but it does work to remind us of something. Whenever Democrats win an election, they feel entitled to act as if by public mandate.
However, when a Republican or libertarian wins, they are expected to include the other side in every little bit of talk that happens.
This double standard is something that many voters are starting to awaken to and the left is seeing that it is wearing them out. Will they be wise enough to stop trying to foil every attempt that a non-leftist earns? History tells us that they won’t, particularly as it deals with gerrymandering.
It will be amusing to watch the next PA Democrat who wins such a post try and justify doing the same thing, but then again, that is the ugly world of politics.