Saturday, January 9, 2021

OPINION: In Pennsylvania state Senate fiasco, Republicans show how fast democracy can be eroded

Editorial: Posted: January 5, 2021 - 4:36 PM

The erosion of democracy can be a slow and insidious process — but on Tuesday, Pennsylvania state Senate Republicans demonstrated how fast it catches up on you.

In the first Senate meeting after the 2020 election, Republican Majority Leader Jake Corman refused to swear in Jim Brewster of Allegheny County. Brewster, who has served in the Senate for over a decade, defeated Republican challenger Nicole Ziccarelli by 69 votes. Ziccarelli disputes the results on technical issues and filed one suit, which the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected, and another in federal court, which is pending.

Despite the fact the election results in the 45th Senatorial District have been certified by the secretary of state, Senate Republicans took matters into their own hands, and citing a technical rule, they announced Monday that they wouldn’t seat Brewster.

When Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who presided over the session, wouldn’t entertain the motion to ignore the results from Brewster’s district, the Republican majority simply took the gavel from him in a motion to let Corman preside.

Eventually, all senators but Brewster were sworn in. The voters of the 45th District don’t have a state senator, despite a certified election winner. Continue Reading here

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