Morning Digest: Pennsylvania Supreme Court sweep gives Democrats legislative redistricting control

Wikimedia Commons photo of the Pennsylvania state capitol building taken by Ad Meskens

Pennsylvania state capitol building


Leading Off:

PA Supreme Court: In what was by far the most important victory of the night, Democrats swept three seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, giving them a five to two majority; previously, Republicans had controlled the bench three to two, with two vacancies. This victory isn’t simply about ensuring a more just court, though undoubtedly the cause of fairness will benefit greatly. It will also have an enormous impact on the next round of legislative redistricting.

That’s because the Supreme Court selects the tie-breaking vote for the commission that draws up the maps for Pennsylvania’s state House and Senate. In the prior two rounds of redistricting, the Republican-dominated court chose the tiebreaker, but now Democrats will have that power come 2021 (justices are elected to 10-year terms). As a result, Democrats will have the chance to undo the Republican gerrymanders that

Continue reading “Morning Digest: Pennsylvania Supreme Court sweep gives Democrats legislative redistricting control”

Morning Digest: Pennsylvania Supreme Court sweep gives Democrats legislative redistricting control

Wikimedia Commons photo of the Pennsylvania state capitol building taken by Ad Meskens

Pennsylvania state capitol building


Leading Off:

PA Supreme Court: In what was by far the most important victory of the night, Democrats swept three seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, giving them a five to two majority; previously, Republicans had controlled the bench three to two, with two vacancies. This victory isn’t simply about ensuring a more just court, though undoubtedly the cause of fairness will benefit greatly. It will also have an enormous impact on the next round of legislative redistricting.

That’s because the Supreme Court selects the tie-breaking vote for the commission that draws up the maps for Pennsylvania’s state House and Senate. In the prior two rounds of redistricting, the Republican-dominated court chose the tiebreaker, but now Democrats will have that power come 2021 (justices are elected to 10-year terms). As a result, Democrats will have the chance to undo the Republican gerrymanders that

Continue reading “Morning Digest: Pennsylvania Supreme Court sweep gives Democrats legislative redistricting control”

Republicans are using scummy tricks to stop progressive ballot measures from winning nationwide

Players participate in a Guinness world record attempt taking place across the world for the largest simultaneous game of Monopoly, at a hotel in Madrid, August 27, 2008. Coinciding with the launch of the new Monopoly game

Monopoly: a popular boardgame. Not a popular concept with voters, though.

Thanks to the GOP’s stranglehold on both Congress and the majority of state legislatures around the country, one of the few venues for progressive reform these days is the ballot box itself. In recent elections, progressives have successfully organized at the state level to increase the minimum wage, legalize marijuana, and even expand background checks for gun buyers.
But Republicans have grown wise to this approach and have descended to new lows to prevent liberal ballot measures from passing into law, even when voters back them. And two measures in two states that are on the ballot next week offer good illustrations of the kinds of scummy tricks the GOP is only too happy to deploy to thwart the will of voters.

In Ohio, organizers petitioned to place Issue 3, which would legalize both medical and recreational marijuana,

Continue reading “Republicans are using scummy tricks to stop progressive ballot measures from winning nationwide”