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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – A federal judge is ordering Pennsylvania’s top state senator to personally pay more than $29,300 to reimburse lawyers who successfully challenged the state’s congressional districts as unconstitutionally gerrymandered.
In a Friday decision, U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson ruled that taxpayer-paid lawyers representing Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati improperly tried to move the legal challenge from state court to federal court last fall.
Baylson says the attempt violated procedural rules and other defendants hadn’t agreed to it.
The Washington law firm of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer and the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia had sought just over $52,700.
Scarnati’s top aide Drew Crompton says they’re reviewing the order and, if needed, the Senate will appeal it. Crompton says assessing personal liability in governmental legal decisions is absurd and could interfere with good-faith litigation.
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