The ACLU of Pennsylvania has filed an amicus brief on behalf of a number of criminal legal reform and voting rights advocacy organizations in a lawsuit brought by Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner that challenges Act 40. Act 40 is a state law that allows the Pennsylvania Attorney General to appoint a special prosecutor for any crime that occurs on Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). 

If enforced, Act 40 would disenfranchise the Philadelphia voters who overwhelmingly elected and re-elected DA Krasner in landslide elections in 2017 and 2021. Act 40 would usurp the authority that those voters entrusted in DA Krasner.   

The amicus brief alleges a violation of DA Krasner’s rights to equal protection under the Pennsylvania Constitution and a violation of the rights of Philadelphia voters who would effectively have their vote nullified by Act 40. 

The amicus brief asks the court to declare Act 40 unconstitutional. 


Stephen Loney, Marian Schneider, and Kate Steiker-Ginzberg of the ACLU of Pennsylvania; Mimi M. McKenzie and Claudia De Palma of the Public Interest Law Center

Pro Bono Law Firm(s)

John A. Freedman, Jonathan L. Stern, Jeremy Karpatkin, and Steven Hess of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP

Date filed

March 1, 2024


Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania