Alito rejects GOP challenge to Pennsylvania voting map

Alito rejects GOP challenge to Pennsylvania voting map

Alito rejects GOP challenge to Pennsylvania voting map

Republican leaders in the state House and Senate say they have agreed to a map of Pennsylvania's 18 congressional districts.

A U.S. Supreme Court justice cleared the way for a more Democrat-friendly congressional voting map in Pennsylvania for this year's election to replace one tilted toward the GOP.

After briefings and a hearing on Persily's maps, the panel ordered they be enacted over lawmakers' redrawn plans for this year's elections.

Less than 24 hours after the U.S. Supreme Court blocked some of a special master's districts from being implemented, plaintiffs in a similar racial gerrymandering case have asked a state court to get involved.

This is the only state in 2018 where court rulings on extreme Republican-led gerrymandering are poised to see new U.S. House districts created that would lead to fairer elections-and likely Democratic pickup of several seats.

The 2011 redistricting map differed so significantly from the 100 simulated maps, that the expert concluded "with well-over 99.9 percent statistical certainty that the [2011 Plan's] creation of a 13-5 Republican advantage in Pennsylvania's Congressional delegation is an outcome that would never have emerged from a districting process adhering to and following traditional districting principles".

The new mapping will help ensure each one of us has an equal voice into who is elected.

As time runs out, it could be almost impossible to present a new map to Gov. Tom Wolf by the February 9 deadline.

Pennsylvania's congressional districts have always been recognized as among the most gerrymandered in the United States. Attorneys for the League of Women Voters had argued that the election results in 2012, 2014 and 2016 provided the evidence to support their contention that the maps were illegally gerrymandered. In drawing a new map, the order said, districts should be compact and contiguous, as equal in population as possible, and split as few counties and towns as possible.

"This is the antithesis of a healthy representative democracy", Justice Debra McCloskey Todd wrote in the opinion, which was joined by Justices Christine Donohue, David Wecht and Kevin Dougherty.

"That being said, the overreach by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for purely political purposes is a unsafe precedent to set", Bernstine said. That's because the issue is a state issue, particularly a provision in the state constitution that prohibits redistricting during the middle of decade, the lawyers contend. "I don't know", Yaw said. On Monday, the high court said it would not hear the case. It is axiomatic that a diluted vote is not an equal vote, as all voters do not have an equal opportunity to translate their votes into representation. An appeal in state court will determine the ultimate fate of those districts, but for this November's election, they will revert to the versions drawn by General Assembly in 2017.

Legislative leaders tentatively plan to submit a plan to the governor, as soon as Friday, with an aim toward having the Legislature approve it early next week, said Drew Crompton, chief of staff for Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati.

They contend that as a result of the Supreme Court remand order, the three-judge county in wake Count is "adequately positioned to rule immediately on ... remedial issues and order into effect a map that respects the state constitution".

If the federal court said there is a way to solve partisan gerrymandering, Ellis said that could be the standard other states would recognize. Candidate filing also would begin Monday.

It's unclear whether the Republican-controlled legislature will attempt to pass a map in time for the Friday deadline. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable.

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