Earlier this month the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court ruled that the state’s congressional map was so beneficial to Republicans that it “clearly, plainly and palpably” violated the Pennsylvania State Constitution.
The court has blocked the use of the map in upcoming elections and has ordered state lawmakers to draw a new one. In an effort to get an emergency stay against the State Supreme Court’s ruling, Republicans from Pennsylvania and six other states have appealed to the US Supreme Court.
The original court case was brought by The League of Women Voters on behalf of voters in each of the state’s voting districts. At that time, the plaintiff’s attorneys argued that the map needed to be redrawn immediately; it had already been used in three elections.
It was noted that, during each of those elections, Republicans took 13 of the state’s eighteen seats while winning only 50% of the vote.
Republican leaders were unhappy with the State Supreme Court’s ruling. Lawmakers from the state, as well as Secretaries of State from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and South Carolina – all Republicans – filed a joint amicus brief, in which they argue that the state can wait until 2021 to redraw the map. They claim that it would be best to wait until after the 2020 census to implement redistricting.
On top of that, eleven of Pennsylvania’s GOP congressmen and The Republican Party of Pennsylvania also filed an amicus brief, asking the US Supreme Court to block the State Supreme Court’s order. Given that Pennsylvania election officials have stated that upcoming elections can remain on schedule as long as the new map is completed by February 20th, this seems to be nothing but an attempt to run out the clock by the Republicans.
This gives the impression that Republicans are all about state’s rights, but only until the state does something they don’t like.