WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of a group of voters in Pennsylvania seeking to ensure that new congressional districts are in place for the 2022 elections. The lawsuit argues that, since the General Assembly and governor failed to reach a compromise on a new plan before the General Assembly concluded their session and the Legislature will not reconvene until January 2022, it is necessary for the judicial system to step in and draw new districts before the 2022 election cycle begins. This type of lawsuit, known as impasse litigation, has been common in past rounds of redistricting in Pennsylvania when the General Assembly and governorship are controlled by different parties.
The petition points out that Pennsylvania’s current congressional map, which was drawn using 2010 census data, is malapportioned given population shifts over the last decade and contains an extra district after the state lost a congressional seat following the 2020 census. The lawsuit argues that the use of the current map in any future elections “will unconstitutionally dilute the strength of Petitioners’ votes because they live in districts with populations that are significantly larger than those in which other voters live.” Given the increasing likelihood of a political stalemate over a new map, the petition asserts that this impasse has “jeopardized Pennsylvania’s ability to conduct timely 2022 primary elections.” The petitioners ask the court to block the use of the current congressional map in future elections because it violates the Pennsylvania and U.S. Constitutions and adopt a new congressional map that is fairly apportioned.