PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app


Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app


PNS Daily Newscast - January 25, 2021 

Some Democrats push to start Trump's impeachment trial; President Joe Biden works to tackle hunger.

2020Talks - January 25, 2021 

The GOP debates constitutionality of impeaching a former president; concerns emerge over a new domestic terrorism bill; and White House looks to both sides of the aisle to pass new COVID relief.

Amendment Called Open Door to Gerrymandering

Downloading Audio

Click to download

We love that you want to share our Audio! And it is helpful for us to know where it is going.
Media outlets that are interested in downloading content should go to
Click Here if you do not already have an account and need to sign up.
Please do it now, as the option to download our audio packages is ending soon

The state Senate approved the bill 26-24 with four Republicans joining Democrats to vote no. (pabrady63/Adobe Stock)
The state Senate approved the bill 26-24 with four Republicans joining Democrats to vote no. (pabrady63/Adobe Stock)
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.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - PA