Letter to Editor 11

“If the Supreme Court won’t follow the spirit of the framers (of the U.S. Constitution), we the people have no choice.”

These are the words of two opinion writers from the Brennan Center for Justice, a non-partisan public policy and law institute that focuses on the fundamental issues of democracy and justice.

This past week the U.S. Supreme Court decided on a 5-4 vote that the federal courts have no role to play in disputes over voting district maps except for cases of racial bias. With this decision, the Court has ended a years-long fight to end extreme partisan gerrymandering.

As the authors of the opinion piece state, we the people need to pick up the responsibility for demanding that our state legislators address this problem.

None of the problems of Pennsylvania — minimum wage, health care, high drug prices, the opioid crisis, lack of education funding and environmental damage — will be solved until we address problems in our political system.

As citizens we need to support legislation concerning voting rights reform. There are many reforms needed, but one of the most important is to stop partisan gerrymandering and to change how we draw voting district lines.

You can find good information on this topic at www.fairdistrictspa.com, including information about Pa. House Bills 23 and 22.

These bills support an independent citizens’ commission to draw district lines, demand transparency in the process and ban the use of political party and voting data. Call, write or e-mail your House representative to co-sponsor these bills.

The U.S. Supreme Court has said that they are not going to do it for us. We the people have no choice but to do it for ourselves.

Joyce Rizzo