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Amanda E. Holt, Elaine Tomlin, Louis Nudi, Diane Edbril, Dariel I. v. 2011 Legislative Reapportionment Commission

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA MIDDLE DISTRICT


January 25, 2012

AMANDA E. HOLT, ELAINE TOMLIN, LOUIS NUDI, DIANE EDBRIL, DARIEL I. JAMIESON, LORA LAVIN, JAMES YOEST, JEFFREY MEYER, CHRISTOPHER H. FROMME, TIMOTHY F. BURNETT, CHRIS HERTZOG, GLEN ECKHART, AND MARY FRANCES BALLARD, PETITIONERS
v.
2011 LEGISLATIVE REAPPORTIONMENT COMMISSION, RESPONDENT
SENATOR JAY COSTA, SENATOR LAWRENCE M. FARNESE, JR., SENATOR CHRISTINE M. TARTAGLIONE, SENATOR SHIRLEY M. KITCHEN, SENATOR LEANNA M. WASHINGTON, SENATOR MICHAEL J. STACK, SENATOR VINCENT J. HUGHES, SENATOR ANTHONY H. WILLIAMS, SENATOR JUDITH L. SCHWANK, SENATOR JOHN T. YUDICHAK, SENATOR DAYLIN LEACH, SENATOR LISA M. BOSCOLA, SENATOR ANDREW E. DINNIMAN, SENATOR JOHN P. BLAKE, SENATOR RICHARD A. KASUNIC, SENATOR JOHN N. WOZNIAK, SENATOR JIM FERLO, SENATOR WAYNE D. FONTANA, SENATOR JAMES R. BREWSTER, AND SENATOR TIMOTHY J. SOLOBAY, PETITIONERS
v.
2011 LEGISLATIVE REAPPORTIONMENT COMMISSION, RESPONDENT
MAYOR CAROLYN COMITTA, COUNCIL PRESIDENT HOLLY BROWN, WILLIAM J. SCOTT, JR., HERBERT A. SCHWABE, II, JANE HEALD CLOSE, FLOYD ROBERT BIELSKI, DAVID LALEIKE, E. BRIAN ABBOTT, NATHANIEL SMITH, AND W. DONALD BRACELAND, PETITIONERS
v.
2011 LEGISLATIVE REAPPORTIONMENT COMMISSION, RESPONDENT
MAYOR LEO SCODA AND COUNCIL PERSON JENNIFER MAYO, PETITIONERS
v.
2011 LEGISLATIVE REAPPORTIONMENT COMMISSION, RESPONDENT
THOMAS SCHIFFER, ALISON BAUSMAN, RACHEL J. AMDUR, JOAN TARKA, LAWRENCE W. ABEL, MARGARET G. MORSCHECK, LAWRENCE J. CHRZAN, JULIA SCHULTZ AND SHIRLEY RESNICK, PETITIONERS
v.
2011 LEGISLATIVE REAPPORTIONMENT COMMISSION, RESPONDENT
SEKELA COLES, CYNTHIA JACKSON AND LEE TALIAFERRO, PETITIONERS
v.
2011 LEGISLATIVE REAPPORTIONMENT : COMMISSION, : RESPONDENT
PATTY KIM, PETITIONER
v.
2011 LEGISLATIVE REAPPORTIONMENT COMMISSION, RESPONDENT
EDWARD J. BRADLEY, JR., PATRICK MCKENNA, JR., DOROTHY GALLAGHER, : RICHARD H. LOWE, AND JOHN F. "JACK" BYRNE,
v.
2011 LEGISLATIVE REAPPORTIONMENT COMMISSION, RESPONDENT
DENNIS J. BAYLOR, PETITIONER
v.
2011 LEGISLATIVE REAPPORTIONMENT COMMISSION, RESPONDENT
ANDREW DOMINICK ALOSI, PETITIONER
v.
2011 LEGISLATIVE REAPPORTIONMENT COMMISSION, RESPONDENT
CARLOS A. ZAYAS, PETITIONER
v.
2011 LEGISLATIVE REAPPORTIONMENT COMMISSION, RESPONDENT
WILLIAM C. KORTZ, MICHELLE L. VEZZANI, MICHAEL E. CHEREPKO, GREGORY EROSENKO, JOYCE POPOVICH, JOHN BEVEC, LISA BASHIOUM, AND RICHARD CHRISTOPHER,
v.
2011 LEGISLATIVE REAPPORTIONMENT COMMISSION, RESPONDENT

Appeal from the Legislative Reapportionment Plan of the 2011 Legislative Reapportionment Commission, dated December 12, 2011

Per curiam.

[J- 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 31- 2012]

Appeal from the Legislative Reapportionment Plan of the 2011 Legislative Reapportionment Commission, dated December 12, 2011 Appeal from the Legislative Reapportionment Plan of the 2011 Legislative Reapportionment Commission, dated December 12, 2011 Appeal from the Legislative Reapportionment Plan of the 2011 Legislative Reapportionment Commission, dated December 12, 2011 Appeal from the Legislative Reapportionment Plan of the 2011 Legislative Reapportionment Commission, dated December 12, 2011 Appeal from the Legislative Reapportionment Plan of the 2011 Legislative Reapportionment Commission, dated December 12, 2011 Appeal from the Legislative : Reapportionment Plan of the 2011 Legislative Reapportionment : Commission, dated December 12, 2011 Appeal from the Legislative Reapportionment Plan of the 2011 Petitioners Legislative Reapportionment Commission, dated December 12, 2011 Appeal from the Legislative : Reapportionment Plan of the 2011 Legislative Reapportionment : Commission, dated December 12, 2011 : Appeal from the Legislative : Reapportionment Plan of the 2011 Legislative Reapportionment : Commission, dated December 12, 2011 Appeal from the Legislative : Reapportionment Plan of the 2011 Legislative Reapportionment : Commission, dated December 12, 2011 : Appeal from the Legislative Reapportionment Plan of the 2011 Legislative Reapportionment Petitioners Commission, dated December 12, 2011

ORDER

AND NOW, this 25th day of January, 2012, upon consideration of the petitions for review and briefs in these legislative redistricting appeals, and after entertaining oral argument on January 23, 2012, this Court finds that the final 2011 Legislative Reapportionment Plan is contrary to law. PA. CONST. art. II, § 17(d).*fn1 Accordingly, the final 2011 Legislative Reapportionment Plan is REMANDED to the 2011 Legislative Reapportionment Commission with a directive to reapportion the Commonwealth in a manner consistent with this Court's Opinion, which will follow. Id.

The 2001 Legislative Reapportionment Plan, which this Court previously ordered to "be used in all forthcoming elections to the General Assembly until the next constitutionally mandated reapportionment shall be approved," Albert v. 2001 Legislative Reapportionment Commission, 790 A.2d 989, 991 (Pa. 2002) (quoting per curiam order), shall remain in effect until a revised final 2011 Legislative Reapportionment Plan having the force of law is approved. PA. CONST. art. II, § 17(e).

All 2012 election dates shall remain the same, with the exception of the primary election calendar, which is adjusted as follows:

Thursday, January 26 First day to circulate nomination petitions Thursday, February 16 Last day to file nomination petitions Thursday, February 23 Last day to file objections to set aside nomination petitions Monday, February 27 Last day that court may fix for hearings on objections to nomination petitions Friday, March 2 Last day for court to finally determine objections to nomination petitions Friday, March 2 Last day for withdrawal by candidates who filed nomination petitions Any signatures on nomination petitions dated January 24 or January 25, 2012, shall be deemed valid as to timeliness, subject, however, to any other statutory challenge.

Jurisdiction is retained.

Mr. Justice Saylor files a dissenting statement, in which Mr. Justice Eakin and Madame Justice Orie Melvin join.

DISSENTING STATEMENT

MR. JUSTICE SAYLOR

Based on the petitions, briefs, and argument, I am not persuaded that the 2011 Legislative Reapportionment Plan is contrary to law as reflected in the existing precedent. Although I am receptive to the concern that past decisions of the Court may suggest an unnecessarily stringent approach to equalization of population as between voting districts, I believe this could be addressed via prospective guidance from the Court. Mr. Justice Eakin and Madame Justice Orie Melvin join this dissenting statement.


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