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Supreme Court declines request from Pennsylvania GOP to stop redistricting

The Supreme Court declined Monday a request from Pennsylvania Republicans to block a lower court ruling that ordered ...

Posted: Feb. 5, 2018 5:47 PM
Updated: Feb. 5, 2018 5:47 PM

The Supreme Court declined Monday a request from Pennsylvania Republicans to block a lower court ruling that ordered Pennsylvania to redraw congressional lines.

Justice Samuel Alito issued the order.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, following a challenge from Democrats, enjoined the existing congressional districts in the 2018 primary and general elections holding that the Republican-drawn maps "clearly, plainly and palpably violates the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania." The court said the Pennsylvania General Assembly should submit a congressional districting plan later this week.

"If the governor accepts the General Assembly's congressional districting plan, it shall be submitted to this court on or before February 15," the court wrote. "If no plan is submitted, that court would adopt a plan based on the evidentiary record developed in the Commonwealth Court."

GOP state house Speaker Michael Turzai argued in court papers that "rather than apply the law as handed down from Pennsylvania's proper lawmakers, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has apparently divined its new criteria from generic state constitutional guarantees of free speech and equal protection."

Turzai wanted the Supreme Court to step in arguing in part that the state court opinion violated the elections clause of the US Constitution.

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