Supreme Court Releases Majority Opinion in Redistricting Case

Crompton said lawmakers have no assurance that Gov. Tom Wolf will accept their plan for redrawing the maps if it comes after the Friday deadline.


Last month, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court ruled that the state’s U.S. House of Representatives map violates the state’s constitution due to Republican gerrymandering.

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.

In his dissent, Chief Justice Thomas G. Saylor wrote that the court should have waited for more guidance from the U.S. Supreme Court, which has taken up the question of partisan gerrymandering this term; should better recognize the inherently political nature of redistricting; and should not have applied the state constitution’s requirements for state legislative maps to the congressional one.

It was drawn in a frantic two-day period by staff for House Speaker Mike Turzai and Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, without input from House or Senate Democrats, or a vote from Pennsylvania’s General Assembly.

The new maps will certainly bring some chaos to the 2018 congressional battlefield on the eve of the formal campaign season, as a number of candidates will now find themselves in different districts than the ones they started running in. DEMOCRATS TRYING TO BREAK GOP SUPER-MAJORITIESIn a Facetime interview with ABC11, Durham and Orange County Democrat Graig Meyer defended his party’s decision to keep fighting for the new maps in court.

While the court’s timeline is intended to have the new maps in place for the May primary, it would have meant that the boundaries wouldn’t be established until two days after the state election calendar indicates candidates can begin circulating petitions from supporters.

Benjamin Brown is a reporter for Fox News.

In normal circumstances, maps would go to the governor only after they have been approved in votes by the House and the Senate.

“Here we are heading into the fourth election on these maps and the Republican advantage that they achieved because of these victories back in 2010, and the lines that they drew in 2011, still endures”, he says. In Pennsylvania the party controlling the legislature controls drawing the map. “They are trying to ignore a Supreme Court decision that came out less than 24 hours ago”.

The new map would have the infamous 7th Congressional district cut a swath through parts of Montgomery, Chester, and Delaware Counties on a generally northeast to southwest axis. “Then it would provide grounds for people who oppose the state Supreme Court order to say, ‘You can’t do that because the federal government says you can’t do that'”.

“With regard to individuals living in “packed” Democratic districts under the Plan, the weight of their votes has been “substantially diluted, ‘ and their votes have no ‘impact on election outcomes, ‘ the court wrote, summarizing the plaintiffs” argument”.

“Apparently no one in Pennsylvania knows how to do this”, Corman said.

“Article 1, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution clearly states that state legislatures determine the method to elect U.S. Representatives and U.S. Senators”, said state Rep. Brad Roae, R-Crawford County.

Some of the districts were so oddly shaped to benefit Republicans that they drew derisive descriptions: Goofy Kicking Donald Duck; a malnourished hammerhead shark winding through six counties; the state of Florida, with a longer panhandle.


In a follow-up opinion released Thursday, four justices expounded on their reasons for shooting down the map.

Two weeks to draw new Congressional an impractical task