Pennsylvania lawmakers should take heed. They need to examine the Chris Christie-George Washington Bridge crisis in New Jersey very carefully. What Gov. Christie and his staff are likely most worried about is being sued in civil court.
Yes, the scenario heretofore considered impossible — that a public official could be sued in a civil court for monetary damages — could actually happen. Elected officials, and their staff, who use government resources to exact personal gain, including political gain, could conceivably lose their immunity against a civil action (known as “sovereign immunity”) and be sued for monetary damages.
So, heads up, Pennsylvania state senators and House members! The next time you concoct a scheme to benefit yourselves by, for instance, fixing an election for one of your own (as was tried by the Pennsylvania GOP when it enacted voter ID to help Mitt Romney win the state in November 2012), you may be required to open your wallets wide to the citizens you wronged.