Cases September 20, 2022

Costello v. Carter – Redistricting (PA)

Issue Areas

Following the 2020 census, Pennsylvania was required to draw a new congressional map before the 2022 midterm elections. 

In January 2022, Governor Wolf vetoed the map proposed by the state legislature. Because of the impasse between the state legislature and the Governor, in February, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued an order adopting a different congressional map, after having reviewed and considered several maps proposed by various parties. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s role here was consistent with the law and prior practice in the state.  

In March, the U.S. Supreme Court denied emergency appeals seeking to impose the congressional map originally drawn by the Pennsylvania state legislature.  

In May 2022, Representative Ryan Costello filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking full merits review.  Costello’s petition asserts that the independent state legislature theory precludes state courts from interfering with the maps or other election rules set by state legislatures. The Pennsylvania State Respondents argue that the petition should be denied because Costello’s argument has been forfeited and waived, Supreme Court precedent forecloses the theory propounded, and the case is distinct from a North Carolina case currently pending before the Court.   

States United served as pro bono counsel for the Pennsylvania State Respondents–Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth Leigh Chapman, Governor Tom Wolf, and the Director of the Bureau of Election Services and Notaries–, and is co-counsel with Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP, Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller, and the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General.    

Latest Update

On August 31, the case was distributed for the Supreme Court’s September 28, 2022 conference.    

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