Governor focusing on court order for new map

While the Pennsylvania Supreme Court redraw the state's congressional districts for the U.S. House of representatives Monday, it's not a done deal.

Top Republican lawmakers in Harrisburg have asked the U.S. Supreme Court for an emergency stay of what they say is a "completely partisan, ultimate gerrymander" by Pennsylvania's top court.

That, even as registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans in the Keystone State.

This case arises from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's usurpation of the Pennsylvania General Assembly's legislative authority to draw its congressional district lines through its preordained invalidation of the lawful districts the General Assembly enacted in 2011 (the "2011 Plan").

State Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Montgomery, announced Thursday that she's dropping her bid for the No. 2 spot and instead running for the newly redrawn 4th Congressional District in suburban Philadelphia. "The current map, the legal map, has gerrymandered seats". The new map is, not surprisingly, more favorable than the old map for the state's Democratic party. By contrast, under the last map, enacted by the legislature in 2011, more than twice as many counties were split among multiple districts.

In the Lehigh Valley, the seat that Republican Charlie Dent is vacating in his retirement also shifts, from leaning Republican to leaning Democratic.

After the 2011 redistricting, they had 40. It could be the difference between Democrats taking control of the U.S. House or not in the 2018 midterms.

Locally, the changes are minimal other than district number: The southwestern portion of Northumberland County - essentially east of the Susquehanna River but not including the Coal Region - will leave neighbors from Montour County and join the 12th District, which includes all of Union and Snyder counties.

In 2016, The Associated Press, after analyzing U.S. Census Bureau data, reported how the gerrymandered IL legislative maps also minimized minority representation. "This court recognized that the primary responsibility for drawing congressional districts rested squarely with the legislature", its order read, "but we also acknowledged that" redrawing the map would fall to the court if the legislature did not pass one that Wolf would sign.

Asians make up 5 percent of Illinois' population, but at the time had no representation in the Legislature. There can not be more than a 1 percent difference between districts, he said.

Elections that have no choices don't attract as many voters as elections that do.

Republicans now enjoy a 13 to 5 advantage in House seats in Pennsylvania, though the state is evenly divided politically. By comparison, Republicans are still looking for candidates to run in four districts held by Democrats. "It wasn't until President Donald Trump was elected that a flurry of liberal activists began challenging congressional maps across the country, including Pennsylvania".


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