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GOP muscles judicial election change into redistricting bill

Written by Mark Scolforo/Associated Press | Jun 12, 2018 4:31 PM
state_capitol12.jpg

The state Capitol building in Harrisburg. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)


(Harrisburg) -- Republicans in Pennsylvania's Senate are seeking to use political momentum behind nonpartisan redistricting to drastically alter how state appeals judges are elected, drawing howls of protest from Democrats.

Senate Republicans on Tuesday muscled provisions into a redistricting bill to elect appeals court judges by district, rather than statewide.

Every Democrat voted no, joined by two Republicans in the 31 to 18 vote. The bill would amend the constitution and requires several more House and Senate votes before it could go before voters in a statewide referendum.

The measure would address longstanding Republican complaints that candidates from the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh regions win a disproportionate share of statewide judicial races.

The bill also includes comprehensive changes to how congressional and state legislative districts are drawn in Pennsylvania.

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