The Equal Protection in Pennsylvania is a Joke Act of 2011
So to get around that, read the legislative verbiage that was ammended to the bill that was signed yesterday. The ammendment you can see in it appears entirely intended to cut out Allegheny County from its provisions, yet to keep Washington County, and only Washington County, in its crosshairs. This is the new relevant clause as it applies to where it applies:
NO COUNTY OF THE FOURTH CLASS HAVING A POPULATION, ACCORDING TO THE 2010 UNITED STATES CENSUS, GREATER THAN 185,000 BUT LESS THAN 210,000 MAY IMPLEMENT, EFFECTUATE OR UNDERTAKE THE PROCESS OF A COURT-ORDERED COUNTYWIDE REASSESSMENT OF REAL PROPERTY FOR PURPOSES OF LEVYING PROPERTY TAXES UNTIL THE LATER OF:If that really passes legal muster, then the whole idea of equal protection in the Pennsylvania Constitution is a joke. In Pennsylvania they clearly can't write it to say "Washington County" or else it would be summarily deemed illegal, but they can write a law that applies only to one county at one point in time. Isn't there some reasonable person test for legalisms? Law school would make my head spin. I've been told the first task in law school is to deprogram the kids from trying to think logically. You can see why.
(1) THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS PROCEDURES NECESSARY TO ENSURE UNIFORMITY AMONG COUNTIES IN THEIR PROPERTY ASSESSMENT SYSTEMS; OR (2) NOVEMBER 30, 2012
It would have been poetic if they got the numbers wrong, but the 2010 population of Washington County is 207,820 so they are ok there. What was the point of specifying a range so wide? Why 185K for the lower bound? Why not 200K? Why not 207,819? Maybe we can count half-people and avoid all the fake ambiguity and declare the law only appllicable to counties with populations between 207,819.5 and 207,820.5. Works out the same in the end.
However there are points in there for brevity and directness. The whole bill is three pages long. I guess it passes the Herman Cain test. Seriously though, maybe it makes sense to have laws like this. But if we are going to do so can we get beyond the fiction that we have to have the equal protection in the first place. At least we could be consistent.