Note: The Brennan Center is not a participant in this case.
Four Pennsylvania voters, along with several organizations including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), filed a lawsuit in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania contending that Pennsylvania’s current state legislative maps are unconstitutional because of unlawful prison gerrymandering. Lawmakers apportioned the maps in question by counting people who are incarcerated as residents of their correctional facilities. Plaintiffs argue that this practice violates the Pennsylvania Constitution’s Free and Equal Elections Clause and Equal Population Requirement for General Assembly Districts, as well as the state’s statutory rule providing that no incarcerated individuals shall be deemed residents of their correctional facilities for the purposes of voter registration and voting.
The plaintiffs have asked the court to declare the current legislative maps unconstitutional and block the state from approving any future maps that count people who are incarcerated at correctional facilities, rather than their pre-incarceration addresses or last known addresses.
On January 14, 2021, the court sustained the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s preliminary objections and dismissed the case.
Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania
- Petition for Review (February 27, 2020)
- Preliminary Objections of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (May 11, 2020)
- Petitioners' Answer to Preliminary Objections of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (June 10, 2020)
- Respondents' Brief in Support of their Preliminary Objections (August 3, 2020)
- Petitioners' Brief in Opposition to Respondents' Preliminary Objections (October 16, 2020)
- Respondents' Reply Brief in Further Support of their Preliminary Objections (October 30, 2020)
- Memorandum Opinion (January 14, 2021)
Amicus Briefs in Support of the Respondents