Three Judge Court (All Republican Appointees) Chosen to Hear Pennsylvania Partisan Redistricting Case: Will Party of the Judges Matter?

Yesterday I wrote about the new federal lawsuit being brought against the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s partisan gerrymandering remedy for state congressional redistricts. I explained why this is such a long shot.

I noted then that the challengers sought a three-judge court, with direct appeal to the Supreme Court (bypassing the Third Circuit).

That three judge court has now been chosen, and it includes three judges nominated by Republican presidents.

This is unusual. The chief judge who has to appoint these panels usually, but not always, does so with some partisan balance, per research of Michael Solimine.

There is no question that Republican and Democratic judges decide some cases differently, and the research suggests this is especially true in election cases (I have a review essay posting soon touching on this).

But this case seems so weak that I don’t expect that the partisan affiliation of the judges will matter here (as I think it did matter in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision).

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