US Supreme Court Dismisses Attempt To Block New Pa. Congressional Map
- Author: Ryan Wade Mar 20, 2018,
Mar 20, 2018, 4:22
In response to Monday's news, republican PA House speaker Mike Turzai responded by saying, "We respect the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court and are prepared to move on to other issues of importance to the people of Pennsylvania".
The previous map was drafted to aid Republican candidates and proved to be a campaign victor for them, leading the GOP to a 13-5 edge in the state's congressional delegation for all three elections in which it was used. It said it had no authority to act in the matter except to dismiss the case.
The new maps appear more compact and suburban than the existing district boundaries and an alternative that state legislative Republicans had submitted and one of those districts is now made up of just Montgomery County, a Democratic stronghold that the GOP had proposed dividing heavily.
An attempt by republican lawmakers to throw out a new congressional map has been dealt a major setback. The GOP has been fighting the court order ever since and the U.S. Supreme Court denied an early request to put a stay on the map.
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A group of 18 Democratic voters sued in state court past year to challenge the 2011 map, a case the state Supreme Court put on a fast track before throwing out the former district lines.
President Trump weighed in on Twitter on February 20, urging Pennsylvania Republicans to fight the case all the way to the Supreme Court. Pennsylvania is one of a handful of states with ongoing battles over how much partisanship and politics is too much partisanship and politics when it comes to redistricting.
According to the Washington Post, Democrats could see a net gain of three or four seats in November's midterm elections, which would provide a crucial boost in the party's bid to reclaim control of the House of Representatives.
When Pennsylvania lawmakers and the Democratic governor didn't agree on a new map, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued its own map, drawn with the help of a Stanford law professor.
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On Monday, both a federal, three-judge panel in Harrisburg as well as the U.S. Supreme Court turned down a request to put the new map on hold.
The Democratic majority on the state Supreme Court had ruled in January that a map Republicans crafted in 2011 amounted to an unconstitutional gerrymander. Nor do the congressmen have proper standing, they said. "As far as we can tell on this record, the Elections Clause claims asserted in the verified complaint belong, if they belong to anyone, only to the Pennsylvania General Assembly".
The state Supreme Court then imposed a new map that many outside experts said still gave Republicans an edge but created more competitive districts and some more districts that are expected to favor Democrats.
"If the ice cream's melting on the dot, you have Justice Alito considering the...request", Chief U.S. District Judge Christopher Conner said during the hearing.
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