Wednesday, August 4, 2021


The youngest students along with faculty and staff will need to mask up in states like New Mexico; and President Biden calls for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign following a report on sexual harassment.


Gov. Andrew Cuomo reacts to sexual harassment report; CDC places new limits on evictions until October; and a new study finds Democrats could lose control of US House in 2022 due to Republican gerrymandering.

Amendment Called Open Door to Gerrymandering


Thursday, July 16, 2020   

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Critics say an amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution narrowly approved by the state Senate yesterday would allow the majority party to dominate the courts.

Pennsylvania's appellate court judges are chosen in statewide elections. The proposed amendment would divide the state into judicial districts devised by the General Assembly and impose a residency requirement for candidates.

Sponsors say regionalizing judicial elections would make them more reflective of the state's population. But Kadida Kenner, campaign director for We the People Pennsylvania, calls it a Republican attempt to gerrymander the state's courts.

"They could have districts that pick up more red counties, which will give them more Republican judges," says Kenner. "Versus a statewide election for our appellate court."

To be enacted, the amendment must be approved by both the House and Senate again in the next legislative session and then be approved by voters in a statewide election.

Supporters of the measure say more than 60% of the state's 31 appellate court judges come from Philadelphia and Allegheny counties, which are majority Democratic. But Kenner points out that those urban counties are where the best candidates work.

"These are our highest-level judges in the state and so they work with some of the larger law firms," says Kenner, "some of the professors at larger schools who are able to be successful in this role."

She adds that while the judges may live predominantly in those counties, they come from several different counties across the state and some are even from other states.

The amendment passed the House late last year on a mostly party-line vote with a few Republicans joining all the Democrats in voting no.

Kenner believes the motivation behind the measure is Republican anger over rulings that have gone against them.

"This started under the gerrymandering ruling and the unfair map," says Kenner. "And this is an opportunity for them to basically seek revenge on our appellate court because they don't agree with some of the rulings that have come out."

She says partisan control of the courts, by either party, erodes the independence of the judiciary as a separate and equal branch of government.

get more stories like this via email

Unilever, the parent company of Ben & Jerry's, could land on a list of more than 60 blacklisted companies prohibited from doing business with the State of Florida. (Stevepb/Pixabay)

Health and Wellness

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Gov. Ron DeSantis is promising to block any state money from going to the parent company of ice-cream maker Ben & Jerry's unless …

Social Issues

LAS VEGAS - Las Vegas is trying to make it easier for people experiencing homelessness to get to their appointments with social service agencies by in…


BILLINGS, Mont. - Montanans are being challenged this month to eat locally grown foods, every day of August. The Northern Plains Resource Council is …

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families is also asking the Arkansas Legislature to reconsider Act 977, which bans state and local officials from mandating COVID-19 vaccinations. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- COVID-19 has given a whole new meaning to the term "Extraordinary Session," as state lawmakers are in Little Rock again today to …

Health and Wellness

SEATTLE - Speaking to folks who are hesitant about getting the COVID-19 vaccine has gained a new sense of urgency as the Delta variant pushes cases up…

Ayolanda Evans Mack of the group Protect Minnesota is at the helm of a new documentary about what it would take to rid a community of gun violence. (Black Light Media)

Social Issues

MINNEAPOLIS - Cities such as Minneapolis are getting attention over waves of gun violence in recent months. A statewide group hopes a new documentary …

Social Issues

By Katie Fleischer for Ms. MagazineBroadcast version by Lily Böhlke for Tennessee News Service/Public News Service NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- After …

Social Issues

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- School bells will soon ring, and Ohio county Children Services agencies are doing what they can to make the transition back to …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021