Pennsylvania redistricting battle heads into final stretch
The United States Supreme Court declined an appeal from Republicans to stop Pennsylvania from having to draw new maps for its congressional elections. The state supreme court ruled that the current map is excessively partisan, and that it amounts to a gerrymander intended to disfavor democrats. The state court held that the current maps violate the Pennsylvania constitution. The ruling gave the legislature three weeks to come up with a new plan. If the state fails to meet the deadline the court said it would draft its own map.
HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania lawmakers are approaching a court-imposed deadline to redraw the state’s map of congressional districts that was thrown out on grounds it unfairly helped Republicans.
The state Supreme Court imposed a Friday deadline for the GOP-controlled Legislature to submit a proposed replacement to Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.
Wolf will then have until Thursday to tell the justices if he supports it. If Wolf is on board, the new map will be enacted.
If not, the court plans to develop its own map.
The Democratic majority on the court says the 2011 map put Republican partisan advantage above traditional redistricting criteria, violating the state constitution’s guarantee of free and equal elections.
Democrats hope a new map in Pennsylvania will help them flip enough seats in Congress to retake the majority.
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