Toth et al. v. Chapman et al. – Redistricting; Independent State Legislature Theory 

U.S. Supreme Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania

On February 11, 2022, a group of Pennsylvania voters, congressional candidates, and a member of a local board of elections filed a complaint against Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, Acting Secretary of State Leigh Chapman, and others in the United States District Court in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. They challenged the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s involvement in redistricting the state’s House of Representatives seat boundaries.  

The plaintiffs argued that using the congressional map adopted by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania would run afoul of the Elections Clause of the U.S. Constitution and a rarely invoked federal statute.  

Following a federal district court’s denial of emergency relief, plaintiffs filed an emergency application to the U.S. Supreme Court seeking an injunction that would require Pennsylvania to conduct at-large, statewide congressional elections. The defendants filed an opposition brief noting that the claims failed on the merits and that granting relief would run afoul of principles of equity. On March 7, 2022, the Supreme Court unanimously denied the relief sought by plaintiffs. The case then proceeded at the district court level. On March 28, the plaintiffs filed a notice of voluntary dismissal asking the clerk to dismiss the case without prejudice. 

The States United Democracy Center is acting as pro bono counsel for Defendants in this case along with Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller and Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP. 

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