ChesterNewMatterWinter2017 - 31

CCBA Feature

www.chescobar.org

Without competitive elections, legislators pander to their
extreme base to stay in office. Compromise becomes
impossible, the important business of governing is mired
in gridlock, and our infrastructure, educational system,
economy, and prosperity suffer. A September 2016
report of Harvard Business School's U.S. Competitiveness
Project includes this key finding: "The U.S. political
system was once the envy of many nations... Today,
we believe that our political system is now the major
obstacle to progress on the economy..."4 How to fix
that broken political system? Harvard Business School
alumni believe that gerrymandering reform is the
top priority.5

How to Solve the
Gerrymandering Problem
As lawyers, we are trained to look for and to avoid
conflicts of interest. Shouldn't legislators do the same?
Drawing the boundaries of their own districts, choosing
the people they want to vote for them, is a clear conflict
of interest. Voters should choose their legislators, not
the other way around. The good news is that there is
something we can do about this problem.
The Pennsylvania Constitution currently provides for
state house and senate redistricting to be accomplished
by a reapportionment commission consisting of five
legislators, two each from the majority and the minority
party with the fifth member, the chairperson, to be
selected by the four members.6 If the four are unable
to agree on the fifth member, which has historically
been the case, a majority of the Pennsylvania Supreme
Court appoints the fifth member. The fifth member tilts
the balance in favor of one party or the other, and the
gerrymandering begins.
A bipartisan group of Pennsylvania legislators is
seeking to reform this broken system. Senate Bill 22,
introduced by Senators Lisa Boscola (D) and Mario
Scavello (R) and co-sponsored by 10 other senators,
and House Bill 722, introduced by Steve Samuelson
(D) and Eric Roe (R) and cosponsored by 90 other
representatives, would put redistricting into the hands
of an independent citizens commission that would
Continued on page 32
http://www.hbs.edu/competitiveness/Documents/problems-unsolved-and-anation-divided.pdf, page 48.
5
http://www.hbs.edu/competitiveness/Documents/problems-unsolved-and-anation-divided.pdf, page 55.
6
Section 17 of Article II of the Constitution of Pennsylvania.
4

CCBA, CCBF
& YLD
ANNUAL
MEETING &
MEMORIAL
SERVICE
Thursday,
December 7,
2017
CHESTER COUNTY HISTORIC COURTHOUSE
3:30 PM - CCBA Memorial Service
4:30 PM - CCBA, CCBF & YLD Annual Meeting
5:30 - 6:00 PM - Member Reception

MARK YOUR CALENDAR!

2018
PRESIDENT'S DINNER

Honoring Christine Zaccarelli, Esq.
Friday, January 19, 2018
Aronimink Golf Club * Newtown
New Matter | 31


http://www.chescobar.org http://www.hbs.edu/competitiveness/Documents/problems-unsolved-and-a http://www.hbs.edu/competitiveness/Documents/problems-unsolved-and-a

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