Let an independent citizens’ panel decide congressional maps

Democrats are applauding the Democratic-controlled state Supreme Court’s split decision that Pennsylvania must redraw its 18 congressional districts because they are unfair to voters.

Republicans in the Legislature are outraged over the court’s decision because it conceivably voids the Republican-drawn map used in three general elections going back to 2012 that some argue is why the GOP holds 13 of the 18 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Hmmm … all the more reason an independent citizens panel should be the one drawing Congressional maps to take out partisan politics.

No matter what side you’re on here, there should be no argument that some of the districts have been twisted and turned for political gain.

Take note:

r Chester County is divided into three congressional districts.

r Berks County is divided into four congressional districts.

r Montgomery County is divided into 5 districts–and none of its representatives actually lives in the county.

What justification is there that the Legislature — the lawmakers themselves — should draw the congressional maps as is the current process?

The goal should be to change the state Constitution before the next redistricting cycle beginning in 2021, when the next U.S. Census results are finalized.

The court’s Feb. 9 deadline is too soon and unreasonable.

Take a look at Senate Bill 22 and House Bill 722.