Supporters of a Republican proposal to create judicial districts for Pennsylvania's highest courts say it would ensure all areas of the state are represented on the benches and reduce the impact of money and special interests on the judiciary.
Detractors call the proposal retaliation for the state Supreme Court's January ruling that the congressional district map drawn in 2011 was unconstitutionally gerrymandered.
Thirteen of the state's 18 congressional districts are represented by Republicans, while the state's highest court has a Democratic majority. GOP lawmakers discussed impeaching the Democratic justices who ruled against the old map.
The proposal to create judicial districts was added to Senate Bill 22, which would put citizens in charge of congressional and legislative redistricting. State Sen. Ryan Aument, R-Lancaster, introduced the amendment shortly before Republicans passed the bill without any Democratic support. It now goes to the House.
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