By Kim Glovas
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The fight continues over the legislative district lines in Pennsylvania. The commission assigned to draw up the map issued its final plan in June. A Latino voter advocacy group has appealed the map, and other appeals will be accepted until the end of business today.
Latino Lines has been arguing for months that the current districts are unconstitutional, because the lines were drawn using census data from 2001. Now, the organization has filed suit in federal court demanding a special election following the November General election.
“The Supreme Court erred by ordering that the primary be held along the lines of the 2001 census,” says Angel Ortiz, with Latino Lines. “And it disenfranchises and ignores the total demographic growth of several populations in Pennsylvania.” Namely, he says the Latino demographics specifically in Philadelphia, Berks and Lehigh Counties.
Latino Lines claims the current plan does not acknowledge the one person, one vote doctrine of the Equal Protection Clause in the 14th Amendment.
Ortiz says the Reapportionment Commission is making a mess of the issue.
“The commission has acted so irresponsibly, that here we are a year and half after the census has been put forward, and we still don’t have a map, a constitutional map approved by the state of Pennsylvania.”
The group charges the Reapportionment Commission with gerrymandering the districts.