Community Orgs File Amicus Brief to Stand up for Voters & Oppose Act 40

Excerpted from the Public Interest Law Center:

“March 1, 2024 – Last year, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed legislation stripping prosecutorial authority over crimes on SEPTA property from elected District Attorney Larry Krasner and installing a state-appointed prosecutor in Philadelphia County.

Today, community organizations representing Philadelphia voters and their interests—POWER Interfaith, Pennsylvania Policy Center, Abolitionist Law Center, Common Cause Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania State Conference of the NAACP, NAACP Philadelphia Branch, League of Women Voters of Philadelphia, Make the Road Pennsylvania, and Urban League of Philadelphia—have filed an amicus brief challenging the law, in a case brought by Krasner. They are represented by attorneys from the ACLU – PA, Arnold & Porter, and the Public Interest Law Center.

In a statement released after the brief was filed, the organizations said that the law side-steps core principles of democracy by effectively replacing, without any accountability to Philadelphia voters, District Attorney Krasner, who was reelected to a second term by a broad margin in 2021.

‘This law would set a dangerous precedent that Harrisburg politicians who have never lived in Philadelphia can overturn our elections over policy disagreements,” said Bishop Dwayne Royster, Executive Director of POWER Interfaith. “Undermining the authority of an elected official so blatantly runs counter to fundamental principles of democracy. This cannot be allowed to stand unchallenged.’

The organizations argue that the law, Act 40, is unconstitutional under the Pennsylvania state constitution’s equal protection guarantee by treating Philadelphia voters differently than voters anywhere else in the commonwealth and undermining their right to choose their local representatives in free and equal elections…”

Read the full press release.

See video of ALC executive director’s Robert Saleem Holbrook’s statement.

Read the brief.