Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey has called a conversation about impeaching Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justices for their decision to redraw the state’s congressional districts “inevitable.”
“Look, I think it’s inevitable that that conversation’s going to take place,” Toomey said. “I think state House members and state senators are going to be speaking amongst themselves and their constituents, and the fundamental question is does this blatant, unconstitutional, partisan power grab that undermines our electoral process, does that rise to the level of impeachment?”
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court redrew the state’s congressional map after the Republican-controlled state legislature failed to come up with a compromise with Democratic Governor Tom Wolf, this week. It had originally given the legislature until February 9 to submit a new plan. The old plan was seen as among the most gerrymandered in the nation.
Republican lawmakers filed a motion with the U.S. Supreme Court to give them more time in redrawing the districts, citing midterm elections which are less than eleven months away. They also challenged the lower court’s authority to redraw new districts, saying the Constitution gives that authority only to state legislatures, not courts.
The request to stay the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision went before Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito earlier this month, who rejected the request without referring it to the whole court.
In the wake of that decision, Republican state Representative Cris Dush, among others, called for the impeachment of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justices who voted for to redraw the map.
“The five justices who signed this order that blatantly and clearly contradicts the plain language of the Pennsylvania Constitution engaged in misbehavior in office,” Dush wrote in a memo to state House members. “Wherefore, each is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office and disqualification to hold any office or trust or profit under this Commonwealth.”
The Pennsylvania Court voted to implement the updated congressional map yesterday in a 4-3 decision. It is largely seen as being a boon for Democrats.
Republican state lawmakers vowed to once again challenge the move in court, and the National Republican Congressional Committee, also vowed to join the fight. In a statement to ITN, NRCC Communications Director Matt Gorman said, “State and federal GOP officials will sue in federal court as soon as tomorrow to prevent the new partisan map from taking effect. The suit will highlight the state supreme court’s rushed decision that created chaos, confusion, and unnecessary expense in the 2018 election cycle.”
President Trump also weighed in the issue imploring Pennsylvania Republicans to keep up the fight. “Hope Republicans in the Great State of Pennsylvania challenge the new “pushed” Congressional Map, all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary. Your Original was correct! Don’t let the Dems take elections away from you so that they can raise taxes & waste money!” he wrote on Twitter.