Redraw court-ordered district maps

Redraw court-ordered district maps

The US Supreme Court this week said it won't interfere with a ruling ordering Pennsylvania lawmakers to redraw Congressional district maps, which state courts had found in violation of the state constitution.

In a letter to Wolf, House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody and his Senate counterpart, Jay Costa, implored him to reject the map outright, arguing the court's order required the Pennsylvania General Assembly to submit a map, and "the presiding officers [Turzai and Scarnati] are not the General Assembly".

No additional information was immediately released.

The court says the 2011 map put Republican partisan advantage above traditional redistricting criteria, violating the state constitution's guarantee of free and equal elections.

A Supreme Court ruling this week upheld new Guilford County legislative districts drawn by a court-appointed special master and adopted in January by a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina.

The state legislative maps originally were challenged by voters on the basis of racial gerrymandering in a lawsuit filed in 2015.

His stance comes as the deadline for a new congressional map approaches.

The GOP dominates Pennsylvania's congressional delegation, 12-5, with one seat now vacant.

Even before the maps became public Friday, however, Democratic leaders were fuming that they had been kept sidelined in the process that - to date - has basically involved only the two senior-most Republican leaders.

Wayne Gray, a Republican, said the way districts are drawn is not fair, no matter what party Scarnati is in contempt of Congress and there are consequences for not obeying the court's rule. "A broad and robust interpretation of Article I, Section 5 serves as a bulwark against the adverse consequences of partisan gerrymandering". For instance, in Pennsylvania, there are one million more Democrats than Republicans, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State.

The governor's office said Wolf will review the plan through the weekend, and have more to say next week. Joe Scarnati's office to protest his response to Monday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling. They are seeking, Berman wrote, "to transform the state's courts by gerrymandering judicial maps to elect more Republican judges, preventing [Democratic Gov.] Cooper from making key judicial appointments, and seeking to get rid of judicial elections altogether". And, depending on how the lines are drawn, could find themselves running against Republican Rep. Keith Rothfus, who represents the neighboring 12th Congressional District, if the districts are somehow intermingled.

Hackers scanned voter registration databases around the nation before the 2016 presidential election. In 2012, Democrats won 51 percent of the statewide popular U.S. House vote, but only 5 out of 18 House seats.

House speaker Mike Turzai said " we got input from our members, and from Senate members, on the Republican side, and together the Republican Senate and the Republican House have submitted a map".

While the court's timeline is intended to have the new maps in place for the May primary, it would have meant that the boundaries wouldn't be established until two days after the state election calendar indicates candidates can begin circulating petitions from supporters.

Gov. Tom Wolf is due to give his budget address on Tuesday, a winter storm is expected to hit the state on Wednesday and the Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl victory parade is on Thursday. Lawmakers did not vote on the plan, and it's unclear whether or not they will next week now that the proposal has been submitted to Wolf.



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