Published: Thu, February 22, 2018
Economy | By Melissa Porter

What the state's new congressional map means to you

What the state's new congressional map means to you

That was the outcome in elections in 2012, 2014 and 2016.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf was the last to submit a proposed map of Pennsylvania's congressional districts, releasing it minutes before the court-ordered midnight deadline.

Democrats must gain 24 seats nationwide to take control of the House from Republicans. The prospect of continued legal wrangling injects uncertainty into the plan to have new districts in place in time for May primary elections.

The high court invalidated the old map as a violation of the state's Constitution, arguing it diluted voters' ability to have competitive races by packing Democrats into some districts while spreading the GOP out among others. The new, court-drawn map is expected to upend that tilt.

This is an argument Republicans already brought to the Supreme Court, which rejected it. Mr. McDonald said challengers could seek to make the same case before a sympathetic federal judge, which would buy them time. He acted without even consulting his eight colleagues. "If the Pennsylvania Supreme Court doesn't like the map, they could have followed the procedure used for decades and allowed the Legislature to redraw the maps for 2020".

Most significantly, the new map likely gives Democrats a better shot at winning seats in Philadelphia's heavily populated and moderate suburbs, where Republicans had held seats in bizarrely contorted districts, including one labeled "Goofy Kicking Donald Duck".

Lt. Gov. Mike Stack submitted a proposal to redraw Pennsylvania's map of congressional districts.

They said everyday voters had to sit under the old unconstitutional maps was a violation of their rights.

The new map also has immediate implications for some incumbents.

Justice Mundy wrote the strongest-worded dissent, noting that she had "concerns regarding the constitutionality of the judicially created congressional districts adopted today". She added that the majority had not been cautious about "the preservation of the legislative process, as set forth" in the national Constitution.

Working together under the direction received from the court and with an extension, we would have undertaken a transparent process that would include holding State Government Committee hearings around the state and seeking input from the people of Pennsylvania. "Indeed, a computer can draw a statewide equipopulous plan by itself in a matter of hours or even minutes, but it is unlikely to be one a court (or anyone) would want to adopt".

The court ruled last month in a 5-2 party line decision that the district boundaries drafted by the GOP-led legislature unconstitutionally put partisan interests above neutral line-drawing criteria, such as keeping districts compact and eliminating municipal and county divisions.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has released a new configuration of Congressional districts which could provide the Democrats with a boost in the upcoming midterm elections. 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.

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