Fixing PA’s Gerrymandered Congressional Map

The Public Interest Law Center
Fix map
The trial phase in our gerrymandering lawsuit is over! We are proud of the strong case we presented to the Court on behalf of the petitioners and all Pennsylvania voters.
We spent the past week in Courtroom 3001 of the Pennsylvania Judicial Center in Harrisburg, proving that Pennsylvania’s U.S. Congressional Map was carefully crafted and gerrymandered to dilute the fundamental right of Pennsylvania’s voters to participate in democracy, have a voice in who represents them, and influence the policies and laws that affect them and their families. 
Courthouse Buildling
PA Judicial Center

Today the Court heard from the legislative respondents’ final expert witness, Dr. Nolan McCarty, a political science professor at Princeton. Dr. McCarty was hired to refute the claims of petitioners’ expert witnesses Dr. Jowei Chen and Dr. Christopher Warshaw. Dr. McCarty walked the Court through his methodology for analyzing partisanship in the current map. His predictions repeatedly resulted in Republicans winning 9 or 10 congressional seats under the 2011 map, not 13 seats. According to Dr. McCarty, had the outcome of 13 seats been due to an intentional partisan gerrymander one would expect that 13 seats would be a more frequent outcome in his simulations.

During cross examination, David Gersch of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP effectively challenged Dr. McCarty’s methods and criticisms, demonstrating that Dr. McCarty’s method actually only correctly predicted the correct number of Republican seats 3% of the time and that perhaps the flaw was in Dr. McCarty’s method, not in Dr. Chen’s.
We then put on our final rebuttal witness, Dr. Chen. Through the rebuttal, Dr. Chen debunked Dr. Cho’s testimony yesterday, as well as Dr. McCarty’s testimony today. Dr. Chen again reinforced his overall findings that Pennsylvania’s 2011 congressional map could not have been the product of something other than the intentional pursuit of partisan advantage. 

Asian male in suit coat
Dr. Jowei Chen


Our amazing pro bono counsel from Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP and our team from the Law Center are now all heading back to our homes in Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia to get started drafting our proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, which are due to Judge Kevin Brobson by Monday at 9 a.m. 

Group of adults standing together
Members of our legal team.

It has been an honor and a privilege to fight this battle in court on behalf of Pennsylvania voters. We look forward to receiving Judge Brobson’s Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law by the end of the year at the latest. Then it is on to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for a final decision in the new year.

You can read a more detailed update from today on our website. Thank you for following along throughout the week and for your ongoing support and solidarity. We will keep you posted as the case develops. 
Mimi McKenzie
Legal Director

Mimi McKenzie


One thought on “Fixing PA’s Gerrymandered Congressional Map

  1. All of us at East Whiteland/Charlestown Dems are especially proud of the work of our own Michael Churchill, pictured far left, wearing his iconic bowtie! Michael serves as one of our two Charlestown Committee Persons.


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