Secretaries of State Oppose Eleventh-Hour Overreach by Liberal State Supreme Court

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David James
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Six Secretaries of State Oppose Eleventh-Hour Overreach by Liberal State Supreme Court

Secretaries of State File Amicus Brief with SCOTUS Supporting Emergency Application for Stay of PA Supreme Court’s Order Tossing Congressional Map

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 29th, 2018) –  Six Secretaries of State filed an Amicus Brief today with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting the Emergency Application for Stay requested by Pennsylvania’s Speaker of the House, Mike Turzai, and Senate President Pro Tempore, Joseph B. Scarnatti III, of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s order in League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania v. Pennsylvania.

Last week, Pennsylvania’s partisan-elected, Democrat-majority Supreme Court threw out the state’s Congressional map in effect since 2011. In its place, the court has ordered the legislature to propose a new map by February 9. If Democrat Governor Tom Wolf does not agree to the plan by February 15, the court will adopt its own preferred lines. In other words, despite the U.S. Constitution providing that the power to draw district lines belongs to state legislatures (Article I, Section IV), the partisan-elected, Democrat justices on the court have hijacked that power for themselves.

As the Secretaries point out in their brief, the court’s eleventh-hour order, as preparations for the 2018 elections are beginning, is a “recipe for chaos” with significant practical implications that burden voters and the state.

“This naked power grab by partisan Democrats in Pennsylvania is part of an ongoing campaign by liberals to invalidate lawful, congressional election maps drawn by state legislatures as provided under the U.S. Constitution,” said Matt Walter, President of the Republican State Leadership Committee.  “Deep into the decade, after multiple elections under the current map, the court’s order upends the administrative process just as the election period gets underway and is designed to fail, giving the partisan-elected court the ability to redraw Congressional lines in violation of the Constitution.”

The six Secretaries of State who signed the Amicus Brief are:

  • John Merrill, Secretary of State of Alabama
  • Michele Reagan, Secretary of State of Arizona
  • Mark Martin, Secretary of State of Arkansas
  • Kris Kobach, Secretary of State of Kansas
  • John R. Ashcroft, Secretary of State of Missouri
  • Mark Hammond, Secretary of State of South Carolina

A copy of the brief is attached.  The Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC), the largest caucus of Republican state leaders in the country and home to the Republican Secretaries of State Committee (RSSC), provided funding for the brief.


The Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) is the largest caucus of Republican state leaders in the country and the only national organization whose mission is to elect Republicans to multiple down-ballot, state-level offices. Since 2002, the RSLC has been working to elect candidates to the offices of lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state legislator, the judiciary and other down-ticket races. After Election Night 2017, state-level Republicans maintain 67 of 99 legislative chamber majorities in red, purple and blue states, hold 31 lieutenant governor seats, and control 30 secretaries of state offices. To learn more about the RSLC, please visit or follow @RSLC on Twitter.