In a legal opinion obtained by The Epoch Times, the nonpartisan Pennsylvania Legislative Reference Bureau opines that “While the Democratic Party won a total of 102 elections to the House of Representatives at the 2022 general election, the Democratic Caucus is able to seat only 101 members due to the death of a member-elect, falling short of the 102 members necessary for a majority.”
The legal opinion came at the request of State Rep. Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster County) who until recently was Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
It further states that “The vacant seat will be filled at a special election.”
The opinion concluded, “Under current law, an individual must at least be elected and living to qualify as a member of a legislative caucus. The Democratic Party won 102 House elections at the November 2022 general election, but the House Democratic Caucus is able to seat only 101 members due to the death of member-elect Anthony DeLuca. The House Democratic Caucus falls short of the 102 members necessary for a majority. “
The legal opinion was issued after two House Democrats resigned, further reducing the total number of members in the Democratic caucus to 99.
Despite the fact the number of Democrats in the Pennsylvania House has actually dropped below the number of Republicans, they still maintain to have the majority in the chamber.
State Rep. Joanna McClinton (D-Philadelphia) held an unannounced ceremony in the House on Wednesday where she was sworn in by a Delaware County county judge as the new majority leader.
Cutler called the move an “insurrection.”
“While admitting three vacancies exist by calling special elections in the 32nd, 34th, and 35th districts, vacancies that give Republicans a 101-99 majority in the House, Democrats are creating internal confusion by simultaneously speciously alleging they have a fake, gerrymandered majority that has the authority to conduct the business of the House,” said Cutler in a statement.
The Republican Party in Pennsylvania is reportedly pursuing all its legal options to oppose the Democrats on their claim of holding a majority.
The Epoch Times attempted to contact McClinton’s office for comment but did not receive a response.