Received this e-mail today from the organization Common Cause Pennsylvania:
I’m going to be honest with you — I’m deeply concerned. The Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee just voted House Bill 38 (HB 38) out of committee by a slim margin, attempting to clear the way for the legislature to engage in judicial gerrymandering.
HB 38 is a constitutional amendment that undermines the impartiality of our court system by giving the General Assembly the power to meddle in our appellate courtrooms by dividing the Commonwealth up into judicial districts, undermining the principles of law and fairness.
Instead of being able to vote for every judge on the Supreme, Commonwealth, and Superior Courts, voters would only be able to vote for judges that lived in their region. To quote Representative Chris Rabb, “Judges don’t have constituents, they have the law.”
This bill already passed through the Legislature last session, but since it’s a constitutional amendment, it’s subject to stricter rules — it has to pass in two legislative cycles before going up for a vote in a ballot referendum. That means we still have the chance to stop it.
Your voice can have a direct impact on the political conversation; Letters to the Editor are an important tool. They raise awareness about the issues you care about to your community, your elected officials, and the press.
Our Letter to the Editor tool makes it as easy as 1, 2, 3:
- Provides talking points
- Allows you to draft your own letter, and then
- Automatically submits it to your 5 most local newspapers based on your zip code
We are greatly disappointed that the House is attempting to rush this bill through hoping Pennsylvanians don’t notice, but they’re underestimating us — we will never stop fighting to maintain the integrity and impartiality of courts.
We need your help now more than ever, as we put pressure on our representatives to reject this partisan, political maneuver to take control of our court system.
Help us reach your representatives directly — and speak to more people — by writing a Letter to the Editor to your local paper demanding that our Legislature vote against this dangerous judicial gerrymandering bill.
Thanks for all you do,
Alexa Grant, Program Advocate
and the team at Common Cause Pennsylvania