Pennsylvania Supreme Court Redraws Congressional Districts

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Redraws Congressional Districts

Its plan splits only 13 counties. The race for his seat has included seven Republicans and two Democrats. The new 4th would connect with Montgomery County, which is now so gerrymandered that it is tough to tell which representative might be considered an incumbent on the new map. While he said he opposed the majority's decision to write its own plan, he said he was not taking a position on that map's validity.

The court's order doesn't offer an explanation for why the districts were renumbered.

The redrawn First Congressional District, which previously encompassed portions of Philadelphia and Delaware County under Democratic Rep.

A sliver of Berks, including Douglass, Colebrookdale and Washington townships, would become part of the new 4th district.

President Trump would have won 10 of the new districts while Hillary Clinton would have taken eight, if the redrawn boundaries had been in place in 2016.

Numerous changes seem generally favorable for Democrats.

The new map substantially overhauls a GOP-drawn congressional map that has helped produce a predominantly Republican delegation and was widely viewed as among the nation's most gerrymandered.

Centre County is split into the newly drawn 15th and 12th districts. Instead, we should follow the lead of the U.S. district court in appointing independent experts, not party members, to draw the lines equitably. In some cases, strong GOP districts move within Democratic reach and some marginally competitive districts become almost even.

In one win for local Democrats, the fourth district is centered on Montgomery County. The district, though, has expanded to include all of Erie and Lawrence counties. It also kept almost 70 percent of residents - and every congressman - in their old districts in what Republicans called an effort to minimize disruption. Crompton didn't say whether Republicans will go to a district court or the U.S. Supreme Court or what type of legal remedy they'll seek.

"Now, my focus will be on making sure the Department of State can support our counties and all candidates in the election process, particularly during the petition period".

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But don't expect the map to end the battle. That deadline was missed when Gov. Tom Wolf rejected a plan put forward by Republican legislative leaders. And the court did not give them enough time to enact a new map, they said.

The case of Gill v. Whitford is in front of the United States Supreme Court right now dealing with gerrymandering.

In January, the state Supreme Court ordered state legislators to redraw the map but created one itself when lawmakers couldn't come up with a new one by the February 15 deadline.

In a 5-2 decision last month, the state Supreme Court ruled that the current map, drawn in 2011 after Republicans had swept to power in the state legislature the previous year, "clearly, plainly, and palpably" violated the state constitution.

"An election corrupted by extensive, sophisticated gerrymandering and partisan dilution of votes is not 'free and equal, '" Justice Debra McCloskey Todd wrote in the January ruling. Barletta, a Hazelton Republican, is leaving the U.S. House in hopes of winning his party's nominaton to run against U.S. Sen. It wasn't yet clear if Reed would now challenge Thompson in the 15th District primary.

Shuster is not seeking re-election. The court didn't file its full opinion until two days before the legislature's deadline to submit a compromise map to Wolf.

The GOP lawmakers are expected to attempt a challenge to the new map in a federal district court.

Republicans who controlled the Legislature and governor's office after the 2010 census crafted it to elect Republicans, and succeeded in that aim: Republicans won 13 of 18 seats in three straight elections, even though Pennsylvania's statewide elections are often closely divided and registered Democratic voters outnumber Republicans.

Republican lawmakers, who have fought the redistricting lawsuit all along, said that they will likely sue to stop the plan created by the state Supreme Court.

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