Republicans ask Supreme Court to block redistricting order

Map from the office of Lt. Gov. Mike Stack

The court cited one GOP lawmaker's statement that he thought electing Republicans was better than electing Democrats so he, quote, "drew this map to help foster what I think is better for the country".

The court cast aside the argument that districts should not consider politics, saying partisanship is part of the system. And these judges are appointees of three different presidents, Wynn by Barack Obama, Britt by Jimmy Carter and Osteen by George W. Bush, and are highly respected as experienced, clear-eyed jurists. "Plaintiffs ignore this reality".

Additionally, Strach contended, blocking the effects of the order by the three judges would be in keeping what the high court had done in a Wisconsin case that tests the breadth to which lawmakers can redistrict for partisan gain. Johnson, a lecturer in journalism, is available to speak with media about the decision, election law, gerrymandering, possible appeals to the case, similar cases before the Supreme Court and related issues. Concurring in the judgment, Judge Patty Shwartz would restrict judicial interference [opinion, PDF] under the Election Clause to cases

. where a regulation so disrupts the voting process that a citizen's vote is rendered meaningless, and all requirements for Article III are met.
In North Carolina three judges said it did.

The judges agreed with the Democrats. "Only the Supreme Court can make the final decision", she said.

It is the first time in history that a USA federal court has struck down any kind of federal districting based on partisan gerrymandering.

The cases could create a standard for determining when states have crossed the line and drawn districts to increase the political power of one party over another.

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Pennsylvania is a political swing state by many measures.

"Prohibiting the State from using the duly enacted districting map that governed its last election cycle on the eve of the commencement of the 2018 election cycle is not just practically disruptive, but represents a grave and irreparable sovereign injury", they wrote.

This ruling puts uncertainty on the state's 2018 election for U.S. Senate seats. That came even though Democrats received more congressional votes in the state in 2012.

The U.S. District Court this week struck down the state's 2016 congressional map as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. Currently, there are only three Democrats out of the state's 13 U.S. House seats.

A separate challenge to Pennsylvania's congressional map is pending before the state Supreme Court, which has scheduled oral arguments on the topic for next week in Harrisburg. Late Friday, Roberts asked for a response by next Wednesday to the delay request from the election advocacy groups and Democratic voters who sued over the congressional map.

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