State Sen. David Argall (R-Mahanoy City) last week proposed two constitutional amendments that would affect state-legislative redistricting in Pennsylvania.
The first reform the senator wants to make would change the process for choosing the chair of the Legislative Reapportionment Commission (LRC), which oversees remapping of the General Assembly’s districts every 10 years. Current law directs the state Supreme Court to pick a chairperson, effectively deciding which party controls the five-member commission on which the Republican and Democratic leaders of the state House and state Senate sit.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected appeals from Republicans in North Carolina and Pennsylvania, an attempt to prevent the states’ redistricting maps.
GOP leaders in both states asked the Court for a temporary stay of the two maps in order to block them from being fully enacted. Because the ruling is not on the constitutionality of the maps, litigation can continue while the boundaries are in place.
A set of amendments to the Pennsylvania Constitution, including a voter-identification requirement, passed the state House of Representatives this week on nearly party-line votes.
To become part of the state Constitution, the proposed amendments must pass in two consecutive sessions of the Pennsylvania General Assembly and must gain approval by a majority of voters in an election. State House members voted on these measures as amendments to a Senate bill that would let gubernatorial candidates select their own running mates, whereas current law lets Pennsylvanians vote to elect nominees for lieutenant governor.