Supreme Court upholds Pennsylvania election map in win for Democrats
04:22, Mar 20, 2018
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Under the map that was tossed out earlier this year by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, only five of the state's 18 congressional districts are represented by Democrats - despite the fact that registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in the swing state.
A redrawn congressional map will likely govern congressional elections this year in Pennsylvania after the U.S. Supreme Court turned down a Republican request to block new district boundaries. "But frustration, even frustration emanating from arduous time constraints placed on the legislative process, does not accord the Plaintiffs a right to relief".
The lawmakers said the State Supreme Court had usurped the legislature's role in violation of federal law.
In his 2005 essay 'When Judges Carve Democracies, ' Persily called maps drawn up by courts a "last resort" and an "emergency measur [e]".
The new map, which now nearly certainly will be the lines under which candidates will run in 2018, also handed Democrats a series of opportunities including at least three seats in southeastern Pennsylvania and several more improved opportunities in places like Allentown and southwestern Pennsylvania.
They said the court was not in position "to opine on the appropriate balance of power between the Commonwealth's legislature and judiciary in redistricting matters, and then to pass judgment on the propriety of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's actions under the U.S. Constitution".
Still, in the world of real politics, the Pennsylvania Department of State and most candidates have already started taking real steps toward a primary based on the new maps.
Republicans have another appeal of the decision now pending at the United States Supreme Court. The 2011 map that has been used this decade has resulted in Republicans consistently winning 13 of the state's 18 congressional seats. "As far as we can tell on this record, the Elections Clause claims asserted in the verified complaint belong, if they belong to anyone, only to the Pennsylvania General Assembly".
The court ruled in January the current districts violated the state's constitution. They wanted the new map put on hold while they pursued an appeal to the nation's highest court.
This doesn't guarantee a win for the state's Democratic party in these new districts, of course.
In a brief urging the United States Supreme Court not to intercede, lawyers for Mr. Wolf wrote that there were practical reasons to let the state court's rulings stand.
In the federal lawsuit, though, the Republican lawmakers did not have standing, the federal judges said. Political observers are anxiously awaiting word from Justice Samuel Alito about whether the court will take up the case and block the map's use for 2018.
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