The gerrymandering case in Pennsylvania has become a bit more complicated. One of the state’s Supreme Court Justices failed to disclose a campaign donation from a Republican lawmaker who was a defendant on the case.
Republican Justice Sallie Updyke Mundy neglected to disclose a $25,000 donation made to her campaign by a PAC which supported fellow Republican Joe Scarnati. Scarnati is the Pennsylvania Senate President Pro Tempore. Mundy finally disclosed the donation on Monday, apologized for not doing so earlier, and maintained that she felt the donation would not impact her impartiality.
Earlier this month, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the state’s current congressional map violated the state constitution and ordered that a new one be drawn. Interestingly, Mundy was one of two GOP justices who disagreed with the Court’s majority ruling.
The Public Interest Law Center, which represents the plaintiffs, said that they will not seek to disqualify Mundy’s vote due to the lack of disclosure, per a statement from spokeperson Barbara Grimaldi.
On the other hand, Scarnati and Pennsylvania Republican House Speaker Michael Turzai have called for the disqualification of Democratic Justice David Wecht’s vote. The GOP lawmakers claim that Justice Wecht cannot be impartial in the case based on statements he made while campaigning in 2015 which illustrated his position against gerrymandering.
It will be interesting to see how this case continues to play out. The Pennsylvania GOP appears to be grasping at any possible way to keep their unconstitutional map in play for the upcoming elections. Its almost like the Republicans are afraid they won’t win elections if they’re fair and legal.