Note: Since submitting this article, Senator Leach has stepped back from his congressional campaign in the light of recent accusations about his personal conduct.
Back in 2004, when I held my first public forum on gerrymandering and 23 people showed up, I could never have predicted that the drawing of legislative district lines would become such a trendy topic. My last forum on this topic drew over 350 people. It seems like every day there is a new article in some national publication on how obscenely drawn our lines are (especially Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District, in which I am keenly interested). In addition, the U.S. Supreme Court heard Gill v. Whitford this year, a case directly challenging the concept of gerrymandering that could, if decided right, be one of the most consequential cases in the court’s history.
Here in Pennsylvania, things are really popping. While we await the outcome of Gill, there are two important cases percolating in which the district lines in our state are under judicial review. [Read more…]