Tag Archives: pennsylvania supreme court impeachment

When in Doubt, Throw Them Out

We all know the scene: children playing ball, they argue over an interpretation of the rules or whether someone was safe or out or if it was a ball or a strike or fair or foul and the aggrieved party picks up his ball and bat and goes home.

Well, replace “children” with “Republican members of Pennsylvania’s state legislature” and you have what’s going on in the Keystone state this week.

There’s an old adage in life that to the victor goes the spoils, and in politics, one of those spoils is that the majority party gets to redraw political district lines every ten years: council district lines, state legislative district lines, and congressional district lines. In Pennsylvania, the victors at the state level were the Republicans, and they drew their lines with particular gusto – so much so that in a state with nearly a million more registered Democrats than Republicans, 12 of the state’s 18 members of the U.S. House of Representatives are Republicans, which just doesn’t add up.

It took slow-witted Democrats five years after the district maps were redrawn to wake up and realize there was something wrong with this and sue – which, by the way, probably goes a long way toward explaining why Republicans have a huge majority in both chambers of the state legislature despite a seven-figure disadvantage among registered voters – and lo and behold the Democrats won: the state’s Commonwealth Court ruled that the election districts violated the constitution, the state’s Supreme Court ruled that the election districts violated the constitution, and upon appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court found the suggestion that the districts didn’t violate the constitution to be so utterly ludicrous that it wouldn’t even entertain an appeal.

Off with their ‘eads!

So how have Republicans in Pennsylvania’s state legislature responded to this defeat and to not getting their way?

They’ve introduced legislation to initiate impeachment proceeds against four of the state Supreme Court justices who found the manner in which the districts were drawn to be unconstitutional.

Because some childhood habits die hard.