Sen. Joe Scarnati appeals order to pay $29K in Pa. gerrymandering case
HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania’s top state senator is appealing a federal judge’s order that he personally pay more than $29,300 to reimburse lawyers who successfully challenged the state’s congressional districts as unconstitutionally gerrymandered.
Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, a Republican, appealed the order this week to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The decision by U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson found that Scarnati improperly tried to move the legal challenge from state court to federal court last fall.
Baylson says the attempt violated procedural rules and other defendants hadn’t agreed to it.
Scarnati aide Drew Crompton says the attempt to move the case based on the recommendations of numerous private lawyers. Crompton also says assessing personal liability in governmental legal decisions is absurd and could interfere with good-faith litigation.