Court Rulings End GOP Efforts to Block Voting Map for Pennsylvania

Lester Mason
March 20, 2018

But it's worth looking at the results this map created; in the 2016 races, Republicans got 53% of the vote, and Democrats 45% in Congressional elections, which would mean Pennsylvania, all things being equal, would have sent a slight majority of Republicans to Congress. On matters of state law, the judgments of state supreme courts are typically final. Add to this the fact that the aforementioned Conor Lamb won the 18th district, which is the old, gerrymandered map, and the Pennsylvania GOP have a much tougher fight on their hands.

In their decision the judges - Circuit Judge Kent Jordan, District Judge Christopher Conner, and District Judge Jerome Simandle - said the plaintiffs didn't have standing to make the appeal so they declined to even consider the merits of their complaint.

In both challenges rejected Monday, Republican lawmakers argued that the state Supreme Court did not give the legislature enough time to draw a new map and, by imposing its own, violated the Elections Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which gives state legislatures authority over elections.

The Court is now considering redistricting cases in Wisconsin and Maryland - the first was brought by Democrats, the second by Republicans - that deal with this same topic, but are in federal court as opposed to state court.

The decision comes on the same day a federal court dismissed a lawsuit filed by Republican congressmen challenging the new map.

In the federal court case, the judges, wrote: "We hold that the federal Elections Clause violations that the Plaintiffs allege are not the Plaintiffs' to assert".

The redrawing process followed an order from the state's high court that the state's earlier map was a partisan gerrymander that violated the state's constitution. Top leaders in the state House and Senate, without taking a vote in their chambers, submitted one map to Wolf, which he rejected.

Republicans have another appeal of the decision now pending at the United States Supreme Court.

The U.S. Supreme Court is weighing whether to set a legal standard for partisan gerrymandering in two cases out of Wisconsin and Maryland.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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