Pennsylvania Court Issues New Congressional Map

Ideas to redraw maps beat deadline in redistricting case

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Along with this, Republican Senate majority leader, Jake Corman, warned that this case and process could create chaos in Pennsylvania's primaries and that the order to draw a new map would "unconstitutionally usurp the role of the governor and Legislature". Some of the districts drew national attention for their unusual shapes.

"It's a straight Democratic gerrymander by a Democratic Supreme Court to help Democrats", Harris said.

Numerous changes seem generally favorable for Democrats.

"This new map will finally allow Pennsylvanians the opportunity to choose their elected officials and have a congressional delegation that more accurately reflects the political desires of the people", Holder said. A district in the previous map completely surrounded the DE line and included narrow corridors to other parts of the district.

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DE would border on two congressional districts, rather than one, under a congressional redistricting map that was drawn by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Both maps were generated by Jowei Chen of the University of MI, who has concluded that each plan produces an even 9-9 split in expected Republican and Democratic seats.

It's the first time a state court threw out congressional boundaries in a partisan gerrymandering case, this one brought by registered Democratic voters and the League of Women Voters last June. In three elections, Republicans won 13 of 18 seats despite the fact that Pennsylvania's elections are usually tight races and the fact that there are more registered Democrats than Republicans. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton would have won the remaining eight districts under the new map, though one district is so close as to be essentially a toss-up. The lawmakers made a similar argument in a request to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the argument was rejected by Justice Samuel Alito. If they failed to do so by the given deadline, the court ruled it would draw up new lines.

Last month, the state's highest court issued a split decision striking down the 2011 map as a "partisan gerrymander", which it said was a clear violation of the state constitution's guarantee of "free and equal" elections.

The map that is under fire was drawn after the 2010 census, which resulted in winning extra Republican seats.

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The opinion states that no district has more than a one-person difference in population from any other district.

The 9th would cover part of the current 17th district, represented by U.S. Rep. Matthew Cartwright, a Scranton Democrat, and part of the 11th, U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta's seat. "I applaud the court for their decision and I respect their effort to remedy Pennsylvania's unfair and unequal congressional elections".

It's unclear what time the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will release its map. State Rep. Steve Bloom (R-Cumberland) was running for the seat but has now been drawn out of it. Dauphin County Commissioner Mike Pries and candidate Andrew Lewis were both seeking the Republican nomination but they, too, have been drawn out. They also attempted to get a state Supreme Court justice disqualified from the case by attacking him as biased, but he declined to recuse himself, saying he had not crossed any lines.

Republican members of Congress and Pennsylvania Republican lawmakers planned to sue in federal court as early as Wednesday in a bid to block a map expected to improve Democrats' chances at erasing the GOP's U.S. House majority. "I would not be surprised to see them stop the implementation of maps in 2018".

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