Panel to re-draw all of Pennsylvania’s legislative and congressional districts might not be as bipartisan as people think

CHAMBERSBURG – The Pennsylvania State Supreme Court got to weigh in on the five-member panel to re-draw the state’s congressional and legislative districts and the result is pretty much par for the course.

The five-member panel includes two Republicans and two Democrats.

The fifth member was to be the tie-breaking vote and would be decided on by the other four members.

As is the way in today’s world, the other four members couldn’t agree on who to choose, so the State Supreme Court stepped in.

The court selected Mark Nordenberg, a 72-year-old retired Chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh and the former dean of the University of Pittsburgh’s law school.

The decision and the man are getting praise from all circles, but looking closer, the details become worrisome.

Attorney Clint Barkdoll, Pat Ryan and Michele Jansen discussed the issue this morning on First News. 

“I’m skeptical,” Barkdoll said. “This guy is a Democrat. He was also on Governor Wolf’s transition team, so it seems to me he’s more plugged in politically than they’re making it out to be when they did this appointment. He’s going to be the key guy. He will be the tie-breaking vote in determining how these legislative districts are drawn.”

“Here we go again,” Ryan sighed.

Jansen said, “I was so worried when we knew the Pennsylvania Supreme Court was going to be making this pick.”

Barkdoll added, “The reporting is that the Supreme Court reached out to him. He didn’t even apply. I don’t know how that happens but this really sounds like there’s a degree of inside baseball going on.”

Jansen said, “They had a whole slew of great candidates that they interviewed and said they were all so great we just couldn’t come to a conclusion. They just ignored all of those.”