Shapiro, seven others file against redistricting map

Posted: July 09, 2012

Montgomery County Commissioners Chairman Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, and seven other local plaintiffs filed an appeal Monday opposing the state's latest Republican-drawn redistricting plan.

The most recent maps - released June 8 - would divide Montgomery County into eight Senate and 19 House districts, none of which lies entirely within the county, and cut district lines through several townships and boroughs.

The plaintiffs called the plan "overtly political" and argued that it violates a state constitutional mandate to keep counties and cities together in one representative district "unless absolutely necessary." Their suit follows similar complaints from two other groups.

Also Monday, lawyer Chuck Pascal, a former member of the Democratic State Committee, filed an appeal on behalf of eight plaintiffs in Allegheny, Westmoreland, and Cumberland Counties. The advocacy group Latino Justice filed its own objection last week, saying the redistricting proposal would suppress the Hispanic vote. In January, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected the initial version of the House and Senate maps - a first since the state began operating under modern redistricting rules.    - Jeremy Roebuck

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