The Eagles Won and Pennsylvania’s Gerrymandering Is Finally Dead

The Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl yesterday. But that wasn’t the only good news for Pennsylvania. There’s more.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently ruled that the Republican gerrymandering of the state’s congressional districts was wildly unconstitutional. That is, it violates the state constitution. Republicans immediately appealed to the US Supreme Court, which was a savvy move since Samuel Alito, the most conservative justice on the court, represents the district that includes Pennsylvania. If there was even a ghost of a case to be made, he’d recommend that the full court take a look.

He didn’t. Even Sam Alito could see there was just nothing there. So that’s that. One way or another, Pennsylvania’s districts will be redrawn in a tolerably honest way for the 2018 elections.

It’s worth noting that since this is based on state law, it has no bearing on the gerrymandering cases the Supreme Court is deciding this year. Those cases will be based on federal law and the US Constitution. Still, the mere fact that other courts are starting to rule against egregiously partisan gerrymandering efforts creates a favorable environment. I’m cautiously optimistic that the court will at least set out some minimal ground rules when it issues its gerrymandering opinion later this year.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend