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SMITH LAWSUIT

SMITH LAWSUIT

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Published by: jmicek on Jan 31, 2012
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01/31/2012

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INTHEUNITEDSTATESDISTRICTCOURTFORTHEEASTERNDISTRICTOFPENNSYLVANIAsAMUELH.SMITH.,
in
hiscapacity
as
SpeakerofthePennsylvaniaHouseofRepresentatives,CIVILACTIONPlaintiff,No.
12
0488
v.
CAROLAICHELE,inhercapacityasSecretaryoftheCommonwealthofPennsylvania,Defendant.COMPLAINT1.Thisaction,bytheSpeakerofthePennsylvaniaHouseofRepresentatives,seeksadeclaratoryjudgmentthatuseofthe2001LegislativeReapportionmentPlan
itt
theupcoming2012specialelections,to:fillvacanciesinthePennsylvaniaHouseofRepresentatives,violatestheUnitedStatesandPennsylvaniaConstitutions.2.ByOrderdatedJanuary25,2012,thePennsylvaniaSupremeCourtdirectedthatthe2001LegislativeReapportionmentPlanshallremainineffectuntilarevisedfinal2011LegislativeReapportionmentPlan"havingtheforceoflawisapproved."TheCourt'sOrderremandedthe2011LegislativeReapportionmentPlantothe2011LegislativeReapportionmentCommission"withadirectivetoreapportiontheCommonwealthinamannerconsistentwiththeCourt'sOpinion,whichwillfollow."TheCourt'sOrderdidnotstatewhenthatOpinionwillbeissued,andnoOpinion
has
beenissuedasofthedateofthe:filingofthisComplaint.-Atthesametime,theOrderdirectsthatnearlyallcurrentelectiondateswillremainunchanged,withthefirstlistedeventtakingplaceonJanuary26,2012.
 
3.BecauseofthetimeconstraintsofthescheduleforelectionsinPennsylvaniafor2012andthePennsylvaniaSupremeCourt'sJanuary
zs"
Order,the2001LegislativeReapportionmentPlanwilllikelybeusedin2012electionsunlessthisCourtgrantsthereliefsoughtinthisaction.4.Becauseofpopulationchangesinthedecadesincethe2001LegislativeReapportionmentPlanwasapproved,useofthatPlanwouldviolatetheconstitutionalrequirementsforlegislativedistrictstohavesubstantialequalityofpopulationamongthevariousdistrictsasrequiredbytheUnitedStates
and
PennsylvaniaConstitutions.JURISDICTIONANDVENUE5.Thisisanactionfordeclaratoryjudgmenttodetermineaquestion
in
actualcontroversybetweenthepartiesundertheprovisionsof28U.S.C.§2201.6.ThejurisdictionofthisCourtisbasedupon28U.S.C.§§1331and1367.7.Venueisproperinthisdistrictpursuantto28U.S.C.
§
1391(b).THEPARTIES8.PlaintiffSamuelH.SmithisthecurrentSpeaker'ofthePennsylvaniaHouseofRepresentatives("Speaker").Hebringsthisactioninhisofficialcapacity.9.TheSpeakeristhepresidingofficerofthePennsylvaniaHouseofRepresentatives("House").10.TheSpeakerhasspecificconstitutionalandstatutoryduties,describedinSectionAbelow,withrespecttoelections.11.DefendantCarolAicheleisthecurrentSecretaryoftheCommonwealthofPennsylvania.Thisactionisbroughtagainsther
in
herofficialcapacity.2
 
12.TheSecretaryoftheCommonwealthisPennsylvania'sChiefElectionOfficerandisresponsibleforoverseeingelectionsinPennsylvania.Amongotherelection..relateddutieswithrespecttoelections,includingforthePennsylvaniaHouseofRepresentatives,theSecretaryoftheCommonwealthisrequiredtonotifycountyboardsinwritingdesignatingallofficesforwhichcandidatesaretobenominated;determinethesufficiencyofnominationpetitionsforallcandidates;proclaimtheresultsofallelections;andissuecertificatesofelectiontothesuccessfulcandidatesatelections.
See
25P.S.§§2621,2865.
FACTS
13.ThestatutoryandconstitutionalissuespresentedinthisactionconcerntheuniqueinterplaybetweentheSpeaker'sdutiesandthecurrentprogressofthe2011LegislativeReapportionmentPlanforthePennsylvaniaGeneralAssembly.
A.TheSpeaker'sDutiesWithRespectToSpecialElectionsToFillVacancies
14.ArticleII,
§
2ofthePennsylvaniaConstitutiondirectstheSpeaker,aspresidingofficeroftheHouse,toissueawritofelectiontofillanyvacancywhichoccursintheHousefortheremainderofthelegislativeterm.15.Bystatestatute,theSpeakerisgenerallyrequiredtoissueawritofelection
within
tendaysafteravacancyoccursintheHouse.25P.S.
§
2778.16.Thisgeneralruledoesnotapply,however,duringcertainperiodsassociatedwiththelegislativereapportionmentoftheCommonwealth.25P.S.
§
2778a.17.IfavacancyoccursfromthetimeapreliminaryreapportionmentplanisfiledbytheLegislativeReapportionmentCommissionuntilafinalreapportionmentplan"attainstheforceoflaw,thepresidingofficerofthehouseshallhavetheauthority,notwithstandinganyotherprovisionsoflawtothecontrary,todelaytheissuanceofawritofelectionuntiltendays3

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