Fed Judges Reject GOP Congressmen's Lawsuit Challenging PA District Map


"The Pennsylvania Supreme Court conspicuously seized the redistricting process and prevented any meaningful ability for the legislature to enact a remedial map to ensure a court-drawn map", said state House Speaker Michael C. Turzai and Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph B. Scarnati III.

A redrawn congressional map will likely govern congressional elections this year in Pennsylvania after the U.S. Supreme Court turned down a Republican request to block new district boundaries. There were no dissents.

The rebuff gives Democrats a chance to build on a potential victory they notched in a special election held March 13 for a formerly Republican-held seat under the old map.

An attempt by republican lawmakers to throw out a new congressional map has been dealt a major setback.

If you're in a pessimistic mood, this ruling doesn't mean much since the Republican case was really weak from the start. Alito, who had previously rejected a similar challenge in the case, referred the request to the whole court, which dismissed it without comment. Perhaps that means a favorable ruling is in store in the big gerrymandering case now pending?

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Pennsylvania will have a new congressional map for this year's elections, after the US Supreme Court declined a request to halt the maps - issued by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court earlier this year - from going into effect. If, say, Democrats could raise that to five seats, then more than 20% of all the seats they need to pick up to retake the majority might come from Pennsylvania alone. In January, the state Supreme Court said the congressional plan Republicans had in place since 2011 so unfairly benefited the GOP that it violated a provision in the state constitution guaranteeing free and equal elections. It proved to be a campaign victor, leading the GOP to a 13-5 edge in the state's congressional delegation for all three elections in which it was used.

The earlier map has been a campaign victor for Republicans, leading them to a 13-5 edge in the state's congressional delegation for all three elections in which it was used.

The Court is now considering redistricting cases in Wisconsin and Maryland - the first was brought by Democrats, the second by Republicans - that deal with this same topic, but are in federal court as opposed to state court. "But the federal congressional plaintiffs have identified no legal principle tethering that cost to a legally cognizable interest in the composition of their electoral districts under the Elections Clause". They want the new map put on hold while they pursue an appeal to the nation's highest court. Nor do the congressmen have proper standing, they said.

"I applaud these decisions that will allow the upcoming election to move forward with the new and fair congressional maps", Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, said in a statement.

In fact, Tuesday is the deadline for candidates to get their petitions filed with signatures to get on the ballot.