Partisan gerrymandering (where the controlling political party redraws voting district lines to keep itself in power and disenfranchise voters of the other party) is an emerging hot topic in Pennsylvania and Federal appellate courts.  Pennsylvania Appellate Advocate’s new weekly series, LWV v. PA: Gerrymandering and the Battle Over Voting District Design, explores the current status of the litigation, the legal history of political gerrymandering, and provides updates as the litigation makes its way through the courts.

Part 1:  Goofy Kicking Donald Duck (Pennsylvania’s Gerrymandered Districts)

In our first installment, we provide an overview of LWV v. PA and preview the history and status of voting district design in Pennsylvania.

Part 2:  The Justiciability Conundrum in Gerrymandering

In this second part of our series, we discuss the issue of justiciability as it relates to the issue of gerrymandering.

Part 3:  LWV v. PA, Diving Into the Case

In this Part 3 of our series, we explain the current procedural status of LWV v. PA, and explore the arguments related to the General Assembly’s request to stay.

Part 4: Oral Argument Analysis of Application for Stay in LWV v. PA 

In this forth installment in our series, we provide in-depth analysis on the oral argument before the Commonwealth Court on the General Assembly’s request for stay.

Part 5: Delayed and now Stayed, Will the Case Proceed?

In Part 5, we provide and update and analysis on the court’s grant of the General Assembly’s request for stay.

Part 6: LWV v. PA – Fast-Tracked

In this sixth installment, we provide on update on the Supreme Court’s grant of extraordinary relief and subsequent Commonwealth Court orders.

Part 7: Suit Remains in State Court

In Part 7, we discuss Senator Scarnati’s failed attempt to remove the case to federal court.

Part 8: Litigation Update

In Part 8, we provide an update on the litigation, and analyze the expert reports offered, in pending Pennsylvania gerrymandering cases.

Part 9: Recommended Findings & Conclusions

In this ninth installment, we provide a summary and analysis of the recommended findings of fact and conclusions of law issued by Commonwealth Court Judge P. Kevin Brobson.

Part 10: LWV v. PA and the North Carolina Redistricting Plan Struck Down in Federal Court

In Part 10, we discuss the Fourth Circuit’s decision holding North Carolina’s districting plan unconstitutional, and the similarities between the NC case and LWV’s challenge.

Part 11: Petitioners Victorious, Map Overturned 

In Part 11, we discuss the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s order in LWV v. PA finding the 2011 districting plan violates the Pennsylvania Constitution.

Part 12: Stay Denied 

In this next installment, we discuss recent developments and responses from the General Assembly related to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s monumental order in LWV v. PA.

Part 13: Opinion Issued

In this next installment, we delve into the Supreme Court’s opinion supporting its Order overturning the 2011 Plan.

Part 14: Federal Stay?

In Part 14, we provide an update on the General Assembly’s attempts to delay application of the Court’s Remedial Plan.

Part 15:  New Map Stands For Now; Federal Courts Deny Stays 

In this next installment, we address federal courts refusal to stay application of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s 2018 districting map to be used in the upcoming 2018 Congressional Elections.


About the Author:  

Whitney Snyder, attorney at Hawke, McKeon & Sniscak, LLP, represents clients in wide-ranging appellate matters in state and federal court.  Her practice focuses primarily on administrative agency appeals and litigation.  Prior to joining the firm Whitney interned at the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.