The Eagles Won and Pennsylvania's Gerrymandering Is Finally Dead

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The Eagles Won and Pennsylvania's Gerrymandering Is Finally Dead

When the Pennsylvania state supreme court ordered a new congressional map for the 2018 primary and general elections, Republicans pushed back.

GOP state House Speaker Michael Turzai argued in court papers that "rather than apply the law as handed down from Pennsylvania's proper lawmakers, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has apparently divined its new criteria from generic state constitutional guarantees of free speech and equal protection". This irresponsible approach handicapped Justice Alito by not providing him with more information, just as it has handicapped the Legislature.

"Redistricting involves lawmaking in its essential features and most important aspect", the lawmakers wrote, quoting Supreme Court precedent.

The state Supreme Court ruled two weeks ago that Pennsylvania's congressional district map is a partisan gerrymander that violates the state Constitution.

Justice Samuel Alito, who is responsible for oversight of the 3 District, denied the Republicans' request.

Paszamant's letter also made reference to the January 26 order mandating that statewide municipal and precinct map data be provided to the Supreme Court, likely to assist the state judiciary in its work to draft an alternate congressional districting map.

Wecht, a Democrat, says the recusal push by the Republican leaders came after he ruled against them, based on facts they could have discovered earlier. The majority has promised to issue an opinion providing its detailed reasoning but has yet to do so.

The U.S. Supreme Court has been busy these days with a variety of gerrymandering and voting rights cases - a flood from North Carolina alone, not to mention Wisconsin, Texas and Maryland - mostly flowing from the federal courts.

Corman said some lawmakers are skeptical that the state Supreme Court will approve anything passed by the Legislature.

The state court's ruling gives lawmakers until Friday to draw up a new map.

But the legislature's two highest-ranking Republicans signaled Monday that they might not be willing to give up their fight. But Pennsylvania Republicans asked the high court to make an exception.

Wolf's statement after the decision called gerrymandering wrong and said a replacement map should correct errors of the past.

The supreme court is now weighing whether redistricting can be so partisan that it violates the United States constitution, in cases from Maryland and Wisconsin.

"Petitions to nominate candidates will be circulated later this month and primary elections will be held in May".

One of the key questions that a Justice or the full Court must consider in deciding whether to delay a lower court ruling is whether there is a reasonably good chance that, when a formal appeal arrives, it will be granted review.

However, the state was a fierce battleground in the 2016 election, and narrowly went to. A notable exception was Bush v. Gore, the 2000 decision that handed the presidency to George W. Bush. In the past, courts at all levels generally have been unwilling to strike down maps purely for reasons of partisan bias (though there is a history of courts rejecting maps that deliberately diluted minority populations' votes).

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