Published: Wed, February 21, 2018
Health Care | By Belinda Paul

Pennsylvania court releases new voting map

Pennsylvania court releases new voting map

Pennsylvania's top court on Monday unveiled a new map carving out the state's US congressional voting districts, imposing a plan it said was based on "traditional criteria" after rejecting a proposal drawn up by Republican lawmakers as unconstitutional.

The new map of Pennsylvania's 18 congressional districts is to be in effect for the May 15 primary and substantially overhauls a congressional map widely viewed as among the nation's most gerrymandered.

Some communities, including Hazle Township in Luzerne County and Smithfield Township in Monroe County, are split between two districts. Thompson will run for re-election in the 15th District.

Lawyers for the Democratic voters who successfully challenged Pennsylvania's congressional districts as unconstitutionally gerrymandered said Tuesday that Republicans have no legal or factual basis to sue.

The court gave state Republicans the chance to devise their own version, but Governor Tom Wolf, a Democrat, refused to adopt it because it was too close to the status quo. "That hasn't changed just because the map has". Washington is one of 22 states that does not give control of redistricting to the Legislature, meaning that in a majority of them the process is exclusively in the hands of the ruling party. For students not registered to vote yet, go register. At the next reapportionment in 1972, the 9th jumped to the west to include Franklin County.

Adding to the complications is a special election looming next month in a district that will be completely overhauled in November.

"It's a big win for Montgomery County and Delco", said Philadelphia-based political consultant Larry Ceisler.

The newly-drawn Second District is entirely in Philadelphia, encompassing Northeast Philadelphia, the river wards and portions of North Philadelphia that lie east of Broad Street.

Republicans adjusted some of the boundaries in their revised map, but kept nearly 70 percent of constituents in their old districts to "minimize disruption".

"Despite top Republicans' claim that the proposed map fully complied with the court's order, top Democrats in the House and Senate, within an hour of its public release, urged Governor Tom Wolf to ".

"The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is a Democratic court, and has unilaterally written a map that favors Democrats", Barletta said. Republican legislators say they'll file a Federal Court challenge to any map produced by the State Supreme Court.

This is an argument Republicans already brought to the Supreme Court, which rejected it. Mr. McDonald said challengers could seek to make the same case before a sympathetic federal judge, which would buy them time.

The submitted maps varied significantly in terms of partisan advantage, though overall they all made districts more compact, and to varying degrees they divided fewer municipalities.

Republicans hold 12 of Pennsylvania's seats in Congress, with Democrats holding five and another now vacant but formerly held by a Republican.

The court earlier this year declared the current map unconstitutional.

But Costello lashed out at the state Supreme Court, saying the justices' map was politically motivated, their map-making process was politically corrupt and that state lawmakers should consider impeaching them.

GOP consultant Christopher Nicholas called the new map "a Dem wet dream".

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