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Pa. Republican leaders meet challenge to redraw congressional districts

12 February 2018, 02:17 | Devin Moran

Nancy Patton Mills- from the Allegheny Democrats website

Nancy Patton Mills- from the Allegheny Democrats website

A proposed new map of Pennsylvania congressional districts may have sanded off some of the rougher edges of the current version, but it still amounts to a pro-Republican gerrymander, a chorus of Democrats complained Saturday as they urged Gov. Wolf to reject it.

One scenario is that Democrats and Republicans will compromise on a plan that looks nicer and is more likely to produce a congressional delegation that roughly matches the partisan alignment of the state.

In a statement released Friday night, the governor's office said "while the Court's order did not appear to allow for two individuals to draw a map on behalf of the entire General Assembly, Governor Wolf will review Speaker Turzai and President Scarnati's submission in consultation with the experts retained by the administration to determine his next course of action".

If not, the court says it will develop its own.

"The map that Republicans put forward last night does practically nothing to fix the partisan gerrymandering that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court found violated the state's constitution", Eric Holder, former USA attorney general and chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, said in a statement. The court has said to expect a new map by February 19.

Turzai and Scarnati say they'll provide it to Wolf on Friday night.




If not, the court plans to develop its own map.

Wolf has until Thursday to tell the court if he supports it.

Democrats hope a new map will help them flip enough seats in Congress to retake the majority.

Now that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has thrown out the current congressional districts as unconstitutional, the Legislature, the governor and the court must now decide to implement a short-term fix or to establish a game-changing precedent.

They added that they believe the new map is "compact and constitutional".

A Republican aide involved in developing the map says voter performance wasn't considered for any candidate.



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