Pennsylvania Court Orders Republican Lawmakers to Redraw Partisan Electoral Map


In a 5-2 decision, Pennsylvania’s top court ordered state lawmakers—who are overwhelmingly Republican—to re-draw the state’s congressional map, ruling that in its current iteration it “clearly, plainly and palpably violates the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania” because of partisan gerrymandering.

The court gave the legislature until Feb. 9 to re-draw the map and submit it to Governor Tom Wolf, who then has six days to approve it.

For reference, below is an image of PA-07, which looks vaguely like the purple squadron from Battlestar Galactica, as well as PA-10 and PA-06, which are undeniably inspired by those blob critters from Spirited Away:

Reuters reports:

Experts have held up Pennsylvania as one of the most extreme examples of gerrymandering, pointing to bizarrely shaped districts that have earned nicknames like “Goofy kicking Donald Duck.” The Republican-controlled legislature created the current map in 2011, after the 2010 U.S. census.
The gerrymandered lines have been worth two or three additional seats to Pennsylvania Republicans, according to Michael Li, a redistricting expert at New York University. […]
The state Senate president, Joe Scarnati, and majority leader, Jake Corman, both Republicans, called the court’s deadline “impossible” and said they would request a stay from the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court, meanwhile, blocked a North Carolina court ruling that ordered state lawmakers to re-draw its congressional map. It is also deciding whether to, in the states of Wisconsin and Maryland, set a legal standard for partisan gerrymandering. The court is expected to rule on those cases by June.

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