Supreme Court rejects GOP effort to block Pennsylvania's new congressional map

Supreme Court rejects GOP effort to block Pennsylvania's new congressional map

The U.S. Supreme Court is keeping a revised map of Pennsylvania's congressional districts in place, turning down a request from Republican leaders in the state Legislature to throw it out.

Pennsylvania Congressional Map to be used in the November 2018 midterm elections.

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In the Supreme Court's order, the only actual action was to deny a request for a delay of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision and the use of its version of the map pending the filing later of a formal appeal. This time Alito referred the request to the full court, but the justices did not act for almost three weeks; when they finally did take action this afternoon, they issued only a terse one-sentence order, without any recorded dissents.

Monday's action was the second time that the court declined to get involved in the partisan battle that has roiled Pennsylvania politics. The Supreme Court is considering cases from Wisconsin and Maryland that could put nationwide limits on lawmakers' ability to draw maps for partisan advantage.

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The Supreme Court denied the application for stay without explanation.

Plus, the fact that state officials are moving along with actual preparations for the May 15 primary election for House candidates could mean that any later effort by the GOP nearly certainly would lead to confusion and maybe even chaos in the campaign in the state.

The decision further cheered state Democrats, who are still celebrating a special election win last week in a suburban Pittsburgh district that President Donald Trump won by 19 percentage points in 2016.

"Your Original was correct!"

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Republicans then submitted an emergency appeal to stop the new map from taking effect. That likely means that the Pennsylvania House delegation will be more evenly split, shifting a few seats to the Democrats as they seek to take control of the House.

But Miskin also noted, caucus leaders do believe the court acted improperly-even though its ruling was upheld by the US Supreme Court and another federal court. That includes seats now held Rep. Charlie Dent and Rep. U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello's seat is also considered much more competitive under the new plan.

The legal battle began previous year with a lawsuit from the League of Women Voters, echoing critics who had held up Pennsylvania's bizarrely shaped districts as a prime example of partisan gerrymandering, in which one party engineers lines to marginalize opposing voters.

On Monday the panel, comprised of U.S. Circuit Judge Kent Jordan and U.S. District Judges Christopher Conner and Jerome Simandle held "the federal Elections Clause violations that the plaintiffs allege are not the plaintiffs' to assert". Democrat Conor Lamb has a slim lead and has claimed victory, but Republicans say they are considering seeking a recount. This week, the justices said they will issue decisions on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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