The unseemly haste of the recently elected Democratic Party majority on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has undermined the impact of a path breaking decision to void Pennsylvania's current congressional district map as an unconstitutional political gerrymander under the State Constitution. The four votes in favor of the decision in League of Women Voters v. Commonwealth were cast by three Democratic Justices elected in a partisan judicial election in November, 2015-Christine Donohue, Kevin Dougherty and David Wecht-joined by holdover Democratic Justice Debra Todd. Another Democrat on the Court, Max Baer, concurred [PDF] in the judgment, dissenting from the timetable set out in the order and on other grounds. The Republicans on the Court, Chief Justice Thomas Saylor and Sallie Mundy, both[PDF] dissented [PDF].
Currently, Pennsylvania may have the most perfectly gerrymandered congressional map in America. The Congressional Redistricting Act of 2011, referred to in the opinion as the 2011 Plan, has yielded the same 13-5 Republican/Democratic congressional delegation split in the three congressional elections that have used it. This pattern held even though the Republican share of the overall State vote for the House of Representatives has ranged from 49.2% in 2012 to 55.5% and 54.1% in 2014 and 2016, respectively, and the Democratic share has ranged from 50.8% in 2012 to 44.5% in 2014 and 45.9% in 2016. Barring the equivalent of a political earthquake, the result would have been exactly the same in 2018. In Pennsylvania, you don't actually have to hold a congressional election. You can just anoint the winners.