Pennsylvania’s Republican Speaker of the House Sam Smith has filed a federal lawsuit, seeking to prevent this year’s primaries from being held within what he claims are old, unconstitutional boundaries.
The lawsuit was filed in Philadelphia in response to the state Supreme Court’s declaration that newly drawn legislative maps, based on 2010 census data, could not be used, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
. The court did not release an opinion that explains the problems with the new boundary lines, just that they must be redrawn.
Meanwhile, the high court said the state’s old legislative maps, drawn up in 2001, will remain in effect until new maps are created and approved. However, Smith argues in his lawsuit that elections under the old maps will violate the state Constitution because there have been population shifts.
Six vacant legislative seats are at stake, adding urgency to Smith’s lawsuit. As speaker, Smith, is required to announce elections for empty seats.
"Without this remedy, the speaker would be required to perform a constitutional duty, issuing writs for special elections to fill vacancies in the House, in districts that do not meet constitutional requirements for elections," Smith said.
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