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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Gives Democrats a Boost in 2018 Midterms

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Gives Democrats a Boost in 2018 Midterms

"The PA Supreme Court has overstepped its legal authority and set up an impossible deadline that will only introduce chaos in the upcoming Congressional election", Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson County and Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, R-Centre County said in a joint statement.

By a 4-3 decision, Pennsylvania's Supreme Court ordered the Republican-controlled state legislature to redraw the lines by February 15, an extraordinarily quick timeline that will reset the districts in time for the state's May congressional primaries.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court Monday ordered that the state's congressional map be redrawn in a move that could have major implications for the Democratic Party's ability to re-take the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2018 midterm elections.

The court gave the General Assembly - which remains under Republican control - until February 9 to submit redrawn lines to Gov. Tom Wolf - a Democrat - who must approve the plan no later than February 15.

The court said the limits "obviously, clearly and discernably" damage the state's constitution, and blocked it from staying as a result for the 2018 races.

Unaffected by the order is the March 13th special election in Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district between Republican State Sen.

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"We suspect that the U.S. Supreme Court will hopefully have interest in this as they've had interest in the North Carolina case", he said. The high court has never struck down an appointive guide as a factional gerrymander.

It is expected that the new map for the 16th District, now held by Rep. Lloyd Smucker, will likely stay similar or get a few additional Republican voters - likely returning to a more familiar shape seen prior to 2011. The court is expected to rule by the end of June in both cases.

Earlier this month, a federal court struck down GOP-drawn maps in North Carolina, saying Republican lawmakers violated the Constitution when they redrew numerous maps to lean so heavily in favor of Republicans. "I want to thank and compliment the attorneys and parties who brought this before the Supreme Court and helped right this obvious wrong".

The plaintiffs had argued the map violates the Pennsylvania Constitution's guarantees of free expression and equal protection.

Crompton said the timeline, as laid out by the state Supreme Court, was unrealistic given the Legislature's process for approving new maps. The court's order did not specify how the map runs afoul of the law but said a full opinion will be released in the future.