Pennsylvania

Gerrymandering poses issue; attorney wants lines redrawn

VIDEO: Gerrymandering hearing in...

Gerrymandering was at the center of a hearing in Harrisburg on Wednesday.

"The map is an abomination. The sooner we can get to the merits the sooner we can prevail," said David Gersch, an attorney for the League of Women Voters.

Gersch was in federal court, trying to fight back a stay by lawyers for Pennsylvania's General Assembly. The issue? Gerrymandering.

Gersch and his crew want the courts to strike down Pennsylvania's current congressional maps, drawn and approved in 2011, and have new ones created before the next election.

They said Republicans redrew the maps after the 2010 census to favor them. Republicans currently represent 13 of 18 congressional districts in Pennsylvania.

Attorneys for the Pennsylvania General Assembly declined to comment, but they argued in court that a decision shouldn't be made until the U.S. Supreme Court reaches a verdict in a similar case in Wisconsin.

Gersch said that case will have no effect on Pennsylvania's constitution.

Tom Rentschler of Exeter Township, Berks County, is one of the 18 plaintiffs representing the state's congressional districts.

"We are in a situation now where politicians are picking their voters rather than the other way around," he said.

The judge stressed that speed is an issue in this case. He is expected to make his decision in the next several weeks, but no matter what he decides, he doesn't feel it will be wrapped up before the 2018 election.


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