Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court strikes down gerrymandered congressional map


Monday, January 22, will be marked as the day the fight against gerrymandering began. It was the day that the Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court struck down one of the most gerrymandered maps in US history. The PA Supreme Court cited the map violated the state constitution.

The repercussions of this decision will be history-changing as it changes the partisan balance in the 2018 midterm election.

Gerrymandering has been a problem since 1810 when Massachusetts Gov. Elbridge Gerry redrew a state map to favor the Democratic-Republicans and weaken the Federalist party.

A leading figure at the time described one of the districts as looking like a salamander. They combined the Governor’s name with the animal and created the term used today: gerrymander.

The map shown above was the Pennsylvania district map, full of uneven lines and jagged edges. This was not a coincidence: PA Republicans drew the map so that Democrats would win in only a few districts but with huge margins, giving Republicans even more control.

This level of partisan bias is unparalleled and unregulated.

This is the first major step a state has taken to combat gerrymandering, and if the ruling is upheld by the US Supreme Court, this is the first step the country has taken to finally address this rising epidemic.