HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Latest on Pennsylvania’s congressional gerrymandering case (all times local):
The new boundaries of congressional districts being imposed by Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court could boost the Democratic Party’s quest to capture control of the U.S. House in 2018’s elections.
The map of districts released on the court’s deadline day Monday unwinds bizarrely contorted districts, including one labeled “Goofy Kicking Donald Duck,” that had been held by Republicans in Philadelphia’s moderate suburbs.
The divided court appears to have drawn its own map, approved in a 4-3 vote, although some districts bear similarities to proposals submitted to the court by Democrats.
The court’s order doesn’t provide details on which counties, municipalities and wards are in each district. That has sowed confusion, including whether two candidates running to fill a vacancy in southwestern Pennsylvania would each land in a district with a Pittsburgh-area congressman.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is imposing a new congressional district map for the state’s 2018 elections, meeting its deadline to do so and likely setting up a challenge from Republicans.
Monday’s order means a new map is to take effect in the May 15 primary. Republican lawmakers are expected to quickly challenge it in federal court, arguing legislatures and governors, not courts, have the constitutional responsibility to draw congressional maps.
If it stands, the revised map is almost certain to improve Democrats’ chances in more seats this year.
The Democratic-majority state high court ruled last month that Pennsylvania’s district boundaries were unconstitutionally gerrymandered. Republicans have won 13 of Pennsylvania’s 18 seats in three elections under the invalidated map, although statewide elections are often closely contested.
The new map won’t apply to March’s special election in southwestern Pennsylvania’s 18th District.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is on the cusp of imposing a new congressional district map for the state’s 2018 elections, all but ensuring that Democratic prospects will improve for several seats.
The court set a Monday deadline for itself to unveil a map of districts to take effect in the May 15 primary, although Republican lawmakers have said they’ll ask federal judges to block any new map. They contend that the court is unconstitutionally commandeering legislative authority to draw districts.
The state’s Democratic-majority high court ruled last month in a party-line decision that Pennsylvania’s district boundaries were unconstitutionally gerrymandered. Republicans have won 13 of Pennsylvania’s 18 seats in three elections under the invalidated map, although Democrats hold a statewide registration edge and most statewide offices.