Republicans Suing Over New Pennsylvania District Maps

Republicans Suing Over New Pennsylvania District Maps February 21, 2018

After Gov. Tom Wolf rejected a new districting map drawn up by Republicans in the Pennsylvania legislature, the state supreme court had a non-partisan expert draw new maps that make much more sense. Naturally, the Republicans are suing — again — to try to gum up the works a while longer.

State and national Republican officials will file a federal lawsuit as soon as Wednesday seeking to block a new Pennsylvania congressional map released on Monday by the state’s high court, the party’s congressional campaign arm said on Tuesday.

The new map would give Democrats better odds of capturing as many as half a dozen U.S. House of Representatives seats in Pennsylvania, where Republicans currently hold 13 of the 18 seats. The Democrats need to flip 24 seats nationally in November’s mid-term elections to retake control of the House.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court drew a new map for the state’s 18 congressional districts after previously invalidating the existing lines as an unconstitutional gerrymander, finding that the Republican-controlled legislature drew them to marginalize Democratic voters.

“The suit will highlight the state Supreme Court’s rushed decision that created chaos, confusion, and unnecessary expense in the 2018 election cycle,” Matt Gorman, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said in a statement.

One legal expert quoted in the article calls this suit “the mother of all Hail Marys in terms of its likelihood to succeed,” and he’s right. The Supreme Court is not likely to even hear the case, much less overturn a state court decision based solely on the state constitution. Even the incredibly partisan Justice Alito wouldn’t intervene two weeks ago in the matter.

But that may not actually be their goal. Their goal may be just to delay things lone enough that the new maps can’t be implemented in time for the midterms, which would buy them two more years of domination of the Pennsylvania House delegation despite the vote being almost perfectly split down the middle for those seats.

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