J.J. Abbott Profile picture
13 Jan, 11 tweets, 6 min read
TODAY: Angry at being held accountable in court, PA Republicans seek retribution with their judicial districts scheme.

This constitutional change would destroy the courts and disenfranchise 9 million voters in PA.

Legal experts and good gov groups have raised the 🚨. Thread.
"These regional elections would, thereby, disenfranchise voters by eliminating their ability to select the full panel of judges issuing decisions of statewide impact and importance.” - @PA4ModernCourts pmconline.org/stop-judicial-…
"House Bill 38 goes exactly in the wrong direction by compounding the error of judicial elections statewide by making discrete districts that will cause even more pressure for judges to respond to constituents, not the law." - @pabarassn
"The role of the judiciary is to decide cases based on the law and the facts in front of them, not to provide political representation for Pennsylvanians in a specific region. Partisan elections by judicial districts subverts the role of the judiciary." - @commoncausepa
“Decisions made by these courts impact all Pennsylvanians. Judges are not representatives in the same sense as are legislators or the Executive. Their function is to administer the law, not to advocate the cause of a particular constituency.” - @PhilaBar
“Judges aren’t politicians, even when they’re elected by voters. And their role in our democracy is to serve as an independent check on the political branches. Legislative attempts to manipulate courts undermine that vital function.” - @BrennanCenter brennancenter.org/our-work/analy…
“Even the most jaundiced political eyes see [HB38] for what it is: a naked power play for judicial branch intimidation and control by the legislative branch. A plan to “stack the courts.”” - @FairDistrictsPA yorkdispatch.com/story/opinion/…
“Transforming the judiciary into something more closely resembling a legislature is the absolute wrong direction.” - @Committeeof70
"It implicitly says judges elected in such a manner are supposed to serve a constituency identified by geography. That’s not what judges are supposed to do.” - Michael Dimino, Widener Law professor and expert in constitutional and election law lancasteronline.com/opinion/column…
.@PBPC and @pawethepeople made it easy to contact your legislator about this terrible scheme: congressweb.com/PBPC/2#/2/
From @aclupa:

"Any attempt, like HB 38, to remake the courts as entities responsive and beholden to the views of their constituents undermines the court’s ability to protect civil rights and civil liberties against the tyranny of the political majority."


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More from @jjabbott

12 Jan
PA Republicans plan to move their partisan judicial districts scheme tomorrow.

Another attack on democracy: disenfranchises 9 million voters and steals every voters' voice in 90% of statewide court seats.

Every legal/good gov org opposes it.

Same with editorial boards. Thread.
.@LancasterOnline: “Indeed, politics already play far too large of role in choosing our judges. Diamond’s amendment would put even more emphasis on politics.” lancasteronline.com/opinion/editor…
.@YorkDispatch: “Geographical judicial districts are an unnecessary and baldly political exercise that solve a problem that doesn’t exist (unless one deems having state voters accurately represented at the judicial level a problem).” yorkdispatch.com/story/opinion/…
Read 10 tweets
6 Jan
You’re going to hear a lot of nonsense about Pennsylvania today.

But here’s why it is all a big lie.

Our courts did not change law. They protected our right to vote.

Ballots with small errors are not illegal. PA law says count them.

GOP voted to allow mail-in voting.
Another thread debunking these lies about Pennsylvania’s election

Courts exist to both enforce law and protect our rights. Here is a simple explanation of why the talking point that the PA Supreme Court “changed” the law is a lie.
Read 5 tweets
4 Jan
The Third Circuit has already ruled in a separate challenge that these ballots can be counted. It is pure fantasy to think that a lower court judge is going to throw them out.

Republicans are showing their anti-democracy colors at every level of government. #CountEveryVote
The most likely scenario is that the federal court dismisses this claim. They will not throw out these votes over a state court.

In American democracy, the equal protection remedy should not be throwing out votes- it should be forcing Westmoreland not to trash people's votes.
Here is a thread on the background of Judge Bibas' opinion in the Third Circuit. The district court is just not going to throw out these votes when a higher court has already ruled they were legally counted.
Read 4 tweets

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