At midnight last night, the 2021-22 session of the Pennsylvania General Assembly came to an end. And at that moment, the proposed judicial gerrymandering constitutional amendment met its demise as well. The threat that Republicans would put their proposed amendment, which threatens judicial independence and the separation of powers, on the ballot is now over. And, with the election results of 2022, the threat of judicial gerrymandering is off the table for the foreseeable future.
Sometimes our biggest victories are the bad things we prevent from happening. So, this is a moment for us to celebrate and thank those who are responsible.
Without the determined effort of everyone who supported the goals of Judicial Independence Project of Pennsylvania (JIPPA)—individuals, advocacy organizations, labor unions, and our funders—this first step in the Republican plan to create an imperial General Assembly might have gone to the voters last year. But a determined campaign of public education and intense grassroots advocacy and inside-the-capital lobbying, blocked the Republicans from moving forward.
PBPC did the initial work, alerting Pennsylvanians to the danger of the proposal we labeled “judicial gerrymandering” in 2018. PBPC’s Why Courts Matter project, along with Common Cause and Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, led the JIPPA project. On behalf of all Pennsylvanians, I want to thank the leaders of the latter two organizations, Deborah Gross and Khalif Ali, for their efforts on JIPPA’s behalf. And I want to give special thanks to Kadida Kenner, PBPC’s former campaign director, who did such wonderful work on the JIPPA project.
At rallies we often chant, “When We Fight, We Win!” We all fought incredibly hard to stop the judicial gerrymandering amendment. And we won!
Thanks to you all.
Marc, Viv, Jay and the rest of the We The People PA Team
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