Our area’s state Rep. Cris Dush is a definite dude.
Subtlety seems foreign to the two-term House of Representatives member from the Brookville area. His positions on issues are usually either “This is great!” or “This is awful!”
Dush ran true to form earlier this month.
Naturally enough, he disagrees with last month’s 4-3 state Supreme Court decision that orders a new map of Pennsylvania’s 13 districts used to elect members of the federal House of Representatives.
The decision does seem to be an overreach. It is clear that Pennsylvania’s districts were redrawn a half-decade ago to benefit Republicans. The GOP controlled the Legislature then, and it clearly rewiggled Congressional district boundaries to its advantage, sometimes splitting counties and towns for reasons that have nothing to do with geographical boundaries and everything to do with keeping some districts as “safe” for Republicans.
But “slanted” is one thing. “Unconstitutional” is an entirely different matter.
The state’s Constitution clearly gives the Legislature, not the courts, the power to redraw those district lines following every decennial Census. But the Constitution is silent on what happens when the Legislature draws unconstitutional lines.
The court was right. The current districts are unconstitutional in that they deprive Pennsylvania voters of equal representation within our communities.
However, Dush is calling for the impeachment and removal of the justices, all Democrats, who made such a ruling.
Here is a hammer.
What is wrong — but not impeachable — is the court’s threat to itself redraw the district lines.
Dush and other legislators were also wrong last year when they did not pass a budget on time and, after they finally got around to it, used creative fiction to meet the Constitution’s “balanced” budget directive.
Should they have been impeached and removed for having made a mistake?
Pennsylvania’s Constitution is so muddy, so overdue for a complete rewrite, that it is difficult to discern precisely what that document does require, or what teeth exist to enforce actions that seem to disregard its provisions.
Hollering “Wolf!” every time a disagreeable action happens in state government seems to be overdoing it — and not just because (pun intended) Dush might appear to be appealing to the state’s current governor, Democrat Tom Wolf.
The Supreme Court’s we-shall-redraw threat might be wrong. It certainly is on shaky legal ground.
But “Impeach them!” is overkill.
Here is Rep. Dush’s hammer.
You might wish to duck.
— Denny Bonavita