In a decision handed down on January 22, 2018 by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court
, they decreed that gerrymandered districts shall be thrown out and replaced such that (emphasis mine):
any congressional districting plan shall consist of: congressional districts composed of compact and contiguous territory; as nearly equal in population as practicable; and which do not divide any county, city, incorporated town, borough, township, or ward, except where necessary to ensure equality of population.
I stared at this paragraph for a boggled minute because the English clauses aren't clearly laid out in a prioritized order. Rationalizing it combined with what I know of redistricting law, I think the priority has to work out to be:
- equal population
- whole towns
If that is a complete
statement of what the Pennsylvania courts want out of a district map, it's relatively simple. I clearly need to get hacking on the municipality-preserving version of my compact district solver.