Republicans in Pennsylvania are pushing to gerrymander their state’s Supreme Court election process. This change would likely disrupt the Democratic majority in the Court in the name of “geographic and ideological diversity.”
Conversations around diversity in political leaders have long since been relevant, but this one is only the tip of the iceberg for Pennsylvania bipartisanship. Considering state Republicans were accused of unconstitutionally rigging congressional elections in the state and then responded to said accusations with threats to impeach four Democratic justices, we have reasons to speculate about ulterior motives for diversifying the court.
Statewide elections were never an issue when Republicans held the majority before 2002, so what is the motive to change the process? Is public interest still the main priority? These bipartisan schemes tell voters they come second to their leaders’ separate agendas. The Kavanaugh trials taught us the contentious peril bipartisanship in the courts. Why instigate that?
This controversial measure needs to pass Congress before a public vote, meaning the earliest it could appear is 2021. The measure has already passed the Pennsylvania state house and is being considered in the Senate. Russ Diamond, the measure’s main sponsor in the House, declined to comment when contacted by The Guardian.
For voters outside of Pennsylvania, the best thing to do is stay informed about legislative changes in (and near) your state, and what they will mean for your vote this year.