After Pennsylvania congressional map impasse, a new map revealed

Adjust Comment Print

Last month, the state's highest court issued a split decision striking down the 2011 map as a "partisan gerrymander", which it said was a clear violation of the state constitution's guarantee of "free and equal" elections. The Brennan Center for Justice estimated that the old map had accounted for an additional three to four GOP seats in Congress. President Donald Trump narrowly won the state in 2016.

The court ruled last month GOP-drawn district boundaries were unconstitutionally gerrymandered.

Lancaster County is still Lloyd Smucker territory, but his 11th district moves west, giving up parts of Chester but picking up parts of York County.

But GOP leaders argued the process was flawed from the start, noting the January order to redraw the map was not supplemented with an opinion laying out the rationale for the court's decision until February 7, two days before the deadline to submit plans to Wolf.

In doing so, the majority of the court decreed that once they determined that the state's congressional districts were illegally gerrymandered they had no choice but to push forward a plan to replace the plan as soon as possible.

The interactive map below by Jeff Frankl of Fair Districts PA - a group seeking redistricting reform - shows how every Pennsylvania district has evolved since 1951, not including Monday's changes.

Wolf said in a statement Monday that Pennsylvanians "are sick and exhausted of gerrymandering". "I respect their effort to remedy Pennsylvania's unfair and unequal congressional elections", Wolf said in an emailed statement. It features contiguous districts that split far fewer counties, and, as a bonus, is far easier on the eyes.

Two local lawmakers - including the current congressman representing this area - are critical of the map.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Monday afternoon released a new congressional map for use in the 2018 elections - the result of a decision from the court in January that the existing map is an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander under the state's constitution.

The proposed congressional map reunites the Lehigh Valley with a district encompassing all of Lehigh and Northampton counties and part of southern Monroe County. Pennsylvania's congressional map is normally enacted as legislation, meaning it passes through the state House and Senate, then goes to the governor for his signature or veto. Delaware County candidates previously planning to run in what was the 7th or 1st District will now have an opportunity to run in the 5th, Landau said, though he suspected even more candidates - including some from Philadelphia - could enter the race.

West Brom stars could face community service after 'Taxi-gate'
West Brom currently sit rock-bottom of the Premier League table, seven points adrift of safety, so the fact that they have been dumped out of the cup is most probably a blessing in disguise, in the sense that it will allow them to focus purely on the league now.

Justice Mundy wrote the strongest-worded dissent, noting that she had "concerns regarding the constitutionality of the judicially created congressional districts adopted today".

The state Supreme Court approved the map on a 4-3 vote by its self-imposed Monday deadline.

It ordered a new map drawn before primary elections on May 15.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court's remedial plan for the state congressional district map.

And some open seats, like those currently held by the retiring Republicans Charlie Dent and Patrick Meehan, are now more likely to end up in Democratic hands, Mr. Wasserman said.

Using a computer algorithm, Jowei Chen of the University of MI generated two maps for a group of registered Democratic voters who served as plaintiffs in the successful court case to throw out Pennsylvania's congressional districts as unconstitutionally gerrymandered.

The new map won't apply to March's special election in southwestern Pennsylvania's 18th district.

The new map is expected to improve Democratic prospects for a number of seats and lift the party's chances to take control in the U.S. House, the Associated Press reported.

For Democrats to win the 24 seats needed to shift the power in the U.S. House from Republican to Democrat, Madonna estimates they need to flip three seats in Pennsylvania.