Just last month, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the state’s congressional map was illegal under the state’s constitution.
The court’s ruling stated that the map gave the Republican party a clear advantage. Republicans have won 13 of the state’s 18 congressional seats in every elections since the map was instituted, despite only ever winning close to 50% of the vote. The court gave lawmakers about three weeks to redraw the map ahead of elections.
If the lawmakers can’t agree on a map with Governor Tom Wolf (D), the court will redraw the map.
Republicans, who were displeased with the State Supreme Court findings, appealed the decision to US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, who oversees the 3rd Circuit, which includes Pennsylvania. On Monday, without referring the case to the full court, Justice Alito denied the appeal.
Upon hearing the news, Governor Wolf, who supported the challenge against the map, stated, “The U.S. Supreme Court correctly recognized that there is no reason to delay implementing the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s order. Now, all parties must focus on getting a fair map in place…Gerrymandering is wrong and we must correct errors of the past with the existing map. My team is ready, willing and able to work with the General Assembly to ensure a new map is fair and within the clear orders given by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.”
State Republicans don’t seem prepared to give up that easily, though, particularly Pennsylvania House Speaker Michael Turzai and Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati. They still don’t believe the map is illegal, and chided the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for not yet issuing an opinion.
Turzai and Scarnati said in a joint statement, “It is astounding that fourteen days after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled the map to be unconstitutional, the Justices have still not issued a majority opinion. This irresponsible approach handicapped Justice Alito by not providing him with more information, just as it has handicapped the Legislature.” Top Republicans added that they would at least try to come up with a new map as the court ordered, but added that they “may be compelled to pursue further legal action in federal court.”
My 6 year old loses with more grace than Pennsylvania Republicans.