Pa. high court to rule quickly on redistricting appeals

    Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court is considering appeals urging it to reject the new boundaries of state House and Senate districts.

    Lawyers for those who have appealed the redistricting said Monday they know it will be an uphill battle.

    Most of the appeals take issue with how certain counties and towns have been cut up and divided among districts.

    But Joseph Del Sole, the lawyer for the 2011 Legislative Reapportionment Commission, said the latest plan has fewer splits than past maps.

    And, he said, no redistricting plan has been rejected by the state Supreme Court since this redistricting method was put in place in 1970.

    “This court is being asked to reject 40 years of prior jurisprudence in order to sustain the appeal…,” Del Sole began.

    “Isn’t it really only four years?” said Chief Justice Ron Castille. “Since we deal with this once every 10 years?”

    “It is, it is, justice,” answered Del Sole. “But 40 years sounds a lot better, from a historical standpoint.”

    When oral arguments concluded, Castille said the court would make haste to decide on the appeals.

    Time is of the essence; Tuesday is the first day candidates running for political office in the new districts can circulate petitions for their nomination.

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