For weeks this winter, Pennsylvania flirted with a full-blown constitutional crisis.
In January, the Democrat-controlled state Supreme Court sided with activists from the League of Women Voters and ordered state legislators to redraw the state’s congressional district map. GOP lawmakers, who had created the boundaries in 2011 during the once-per-decade reapportionment process, had engaged in a heavy dose of gerrymandering – the practice of drawing district lines intentionally to favor one party over another. Not surprisingly, Republicans objected to the court order, even threatening to impeach some of the state high court’s justices. The two branches of government appeared to be deadlocked, with each determined to check what it saw as partisan opportunism on the part of the other.
Republican lawmakers in the General Assembly blinked first, offering a new set of district lines on February 9. It was promptly rejected by Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat. A