News

Senator told to pay $29K in gerrymandering case legal costs

Written by The Associated Press | Apr 13, 2018 6:06 PM
remedial_map_redistricting.jpg


(Harrisburg) -- A federal judge is ordering Pennsylvania's top state senator to personally pay more than $29,300 to reimburse lawyers who successfully challenged the state's congressional districts as unconstitutionally gerrymandered.

U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson has ruled that taxpayer-paid lawyers representing Republican Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati improperly tried to move the legal challenge from state court to federal court last fall.

Baylson says the attempt violated procedural rules and other defendants hadn't agreed to it.

The Washington law firm of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer and the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia had sought just over $52,700.

Scarnati's top aide Drew Crompton says they're reviewing the order and, if needed, the Senate will appeal it.

He says assessing personal liability in governmental legal decisions is absurd and could interfere with good-faith litigation.

*An earlier version of this story appears below*

(Harrisburg) --A federal judge is ordering Pennsylvania's top state senator to personally pay more than $29,300 to reimburse lawyers who successfully challenged the state's congressional districts as unconstitutionally gerrymandered.

In a Friday decision, U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson ruled that taxpayer-paid lawyers representing Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati improperly tried to move the legal challenge from state court to federal court last fall.

Baylson says the attempt violated procedural rules and other defendants hadn't agreed to it.

The Washington law firm of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer and the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia had sought just over $52,700 in costs to fight it before Scarnati withdrew the petition.

Scarnati didn't immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

In January, the state Supreme Court ordered Pennsylvania's congressional districts redrawn.

Tagged under , , , , , , ,

back to top

Give Now

Estate Planning

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Smart Talk

National Edward R. Murrow Awards

DuPont Columbia Awards

Support Local Journalism

Latest News from NPR

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »