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Second Pennsylvania gerrymandering challenge heads to trial

Mark Scolforo
Associated Press

HARRISBURG – A state court trial over congressional district boundaries is about to get underway in Pennsylvania as a parallel case awaits a decision in federal court.

The Commonwealth Court proceeding Monday in Harrisburg was put on a fast track by the state Supreme Court a month ago.

The lawsuit by a group of voters says the 2011 Republican-drawn map is too partisan and violates the state constitution. They want a new map.

A separate challenge was the subject of a federal trial last week in Philadelphia.

In this Monday, Aug. 7, 2017 photo, mathematics professor Moon Duchin speaks to attendees during a conference at Tufts University in Medford, Mass. Lawsuits challenging voting districts have risen since a 2013 Supreme Court case made it easier to draw new districts. Duchin realized her geometry research could be used to fight gerrymandering by figuring out if new voting districts pass legal muster. She's now started a summer program to teach mathematicians how to testify in court to help illuminate the complicated topic. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes)

In that case, a group of Democratic voters argues the map should be thrown out because no political considerations should be allowed in redistricting.

The Pennsylvania cases are proceeding as the U.S. Supreme Court considers whether to set new standards for drawing political district lines.