Pa. Lawmakers Won't Meet Deadline To Vote On Congressional Map


"If they say something like, 'We can't get our hands around this one and are not going to rule on it, ' or.the state maps in question are OK, then that has pretty serious implications for Pennsylvania", Ellis said. The first algorithm used traditional districting criteria only: population equality; contiguity; compactness; absence of splits within municipalities, unless necessary; and absence of splits within counties, unless necessary.

"So, right now, we're in limbo", said Bizzarro.

If not, the court plans to develop its own map.

"The challengers asked the state court to block the use of five state House districts adopted by the Republican lawmakers a year ago for Wake and Mecklenburg counties and order them to use election districts drawn by Nathaniel Persily, the Stanford University professor hired by the federal court as a 'special master.' Dallas Woodhouse, North Carolina Republican Party executive director, criticized the move as 'Hail Mary efforts by the other side'".

Republicans were elected to represent 13 congressional districts in the state, to only five for Democrats, despite there being 800,000 more registered Democrats in the state.

Another expert explained the methods legislatures use to consolidate power for the party in control.

That could change this year, with redrawn districts that evenly distribute African-American voters - who generally vote Democratic - instead of packing them into a few districts. Let them know you support the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision.

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These lines serve only one objective: to dilute the votes of Democratic voters. But Justice Todd acknowledged that a map drawn to these neutral standards could still end up giving one party significantly more power than another.

A partisan gerrymandering case is now before the US Supreme Court, said Chris Ellis, Bucknell University associate professor of political science. But GOP legislative leaders argued the issue was an issue that needed to be settled in state court and not by the federal judges. Governor Tom Wolfe, a Democrat, has until February 15 to approve or reject it.

"Hopefully, the (US) Supreme Court would either say partisan gerrymanders are OK, or provide some clear guidance when they are not OK so we can redraw these maps and not be doing this fight all the time", Ellis said.

"We want our senator and representatives to comply with the court order", said O'Neill. In the Senate, Scarnati has said he will refuse to comply with court orders to share data meant to help the justices draw a map, and a rank-and-file Republican lawmaker is seeking cosponsors to sign onto an attempt to impeach the court's Democratic justices.

According to the Brennan Center for Justice, 14 states are considering legislation that would diminish the role or independence of the courts.

On Jan. 25, Scarnati, joined by state House Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's ruling, ignoring that the U.S. Supreme Court has historically deferred to state courts in cases regarding state constitutional matters.