2012-08-30 / Local & State

Details Of 3 Thorny Cases Headed To Pa. High Court

By The Associated Press

Details of three politically charged, high-profile cases in Pennsylvania that are being handled by Pennsylvania's Supreme Court:

THE CASE: A challenge to a state law requiring all voters to show a valid form of photo identification.

COURT ACTION SO FAR: A lower court judge rejected a petition to stop the law from being in effect for the Nov. 6 election; the Supreme Court will hear the appeal on Sept. 13.

WHY IT'S POLITICAL: Republicans wrote the legislation, voted for it and signed it into law. Every Democratic lawmaker opposed it. A top Republican lawmaker boasted that it will allow Republican Mitt Romney to beat Democratic President Barack Obama in Pennsylvania.

THE CASE: A challenge to a part of a state law that restricts the ability of municipalities to determine the location of natural gas drilling activity.

COURT ACTION SO FAR: A divided lower court panel ruled it to be unconstitutional.

WHY IT'S POLITICAL: Republicans wrote the legislation, voted for it and signed it into law. Nearly every Democratic lawmaker opposed it. The drilling industry, a backer of Gov. Tom Corbett, supports it.

THE CASE: Challenges to the latest plans to redraw the borders of state legislative districts.

COURT ACTION SO FAR: The state Supreme Court threw out an earlier plan in January.

WHY IT'S POLITICAL: Drawing legislative boundaries is always political because small adjustments can change a district's political tilt. Republicans drew the maps in question. Senate Democrats are among the challengers who filed lawsuits.

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