The Pennsylvania Supreme Court last month ruled that the state’s Republican legislative leaders had violated the state Constitution by unfairly favoring the GOP. The practical impact is that it might aid Democrats in their attempt to flip the House from Republican control.Although there are more registered Democrats than Republicans in the state, Republicans hold 13 of 18 congressional seats. Democrats need to take about two dozen seats to win the majority, and Pennsylvania could provide some of that total.
They noted that the 2020 Census will require new lines to be drawn nationwide anyway. The Pennsylvania high court wants the legislature to submit a new plan to the governor by the end of this week and said the governor should have it ready for the state court’s review by Feb. Pennsylvania’s governor, Democrat Tom Wolf, indicated that was possible.But the Supreme Court stopped those decisions, and Monday’s denial to Pennsylvania’s request does not affect them.The justices are traditionally reluctant to order changes in an election year.The victory for opponents of partisan gerrymandering might also indicate a new way to combat the issue, by challenging redistricting in state courts under state constitutions.Federal courts in Texas, North Carolina and Wisconsin found that politics or intentional discrimination played an unacceptable role in drawing electoral lines and ordered new districts drawn for the 2018 elections.But the previous decisions have been by federal courts weighing how gerrymandering might violate the U. “State courts long before this decade of redistricting have been somewhat more willing to strike down partisan gerrymanders than federal courts, though that isn’t saying much, because federal courts have not been willing to do so at all,” said Richard Pildes, an election law specialist at New York University Law School.