Pennsylvania House Speaker Sam Smith, R-Jefferson, has grudgingly scheduled special elections to fill six vacancies for April 24 as the result of a state Supreme Court order that threw out the legislature's screwball redistricting map.
According to Smith, the order is a power grab by the high court that promotes some "veiled agenda" by the jurists.
"In the face of an over-reaching court, my refusal to call these six special elections will only insure a constitutional crisis not of my making," said the put-upon Smith.
We believe that the framework for some imagined constitutional crisis was erected by the General Assembly when it approved a map that was a blatant exercise in gerrymandering.
It is not coincidental to this brouhaha between the court and the legislature that four of the six districts in question were most recently held by Democrats and two by Republicans. All six have since relinquished their offices after being elected to other offices last November.
But, what's important to Mr. Smith is not the personalities involved, but the make-up of the districts. As those of us in the 65th District should be acutely aware, history has shown that unless a district is drastically altered to change the pattern of party majority, the chance of turnover from one election to the next is greatly reduced.
The Speaker is disappointed and angry. The play didn't work, and the GOP majority in both houses was called for a foul.
You win some and you lose some in politics, but you should always respect the rules of the game.