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GOP asks Supreme Court to block new Pennsylvania congressional maps

Pennsylvania Republicans are asking the US Supreme Court to block new congressional maps that would tilt several key ...

Posted: Feb 28, 2018 9:39 AM
Updated: Feb 28, 2018 9:39 AM

Pennsylvania Republicans are asking the US Supreme Court to block new congressional maps that would tilt several key races in Democrats' favor from being used in this year's midterm elections.

The GOP leaders of the state House and Senate asked Tuesday for an emergency stay blocking the implementation of the maps, which were unveiled this month by the state Supreme Court after it ruled that the previous maps had been gerrymandered in violation of Pennsylvania's Constitution.

It's a final effort to stop major changes to a congressional delegation that now comprises 13 Republican-held seats and five Democrats.

Lawyers for House Speaker Mike Turzai and Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati argue that the state's high court overstepped its authority in setting a deadline for lawmakers to draw new maps -- and then, when the GOP-led Legislature missed that deadline, producing new maps on its own.

In court papers, their lawyers said the state court's move "blatantly usurps the power of the Pennsylvania General Assembly and inflicts confusion on the Commonwealth's upcoming congressional elections."

"Not only did the Pennsylvania Supreme Court violate the Elections Clause by adopting new congressional districting criteria from whole cloth, but also by implementing a remedial phase that did not give the General Assembly an 'adequate opportunity' to enact a new map," they argued.

National Republicans and Democrats are paying close attention to the Pennsylvania developments.

The new map drawn by the state Supreme Court would mean more historically Democratic electorates in three seats in the suburbs of Philadelphia, including one region largely represented by Republican Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick and another represented in part by GOP Rep. Ryan Costello.

Republicans would also have a more difficult time holding the seats of retiring Reps. Pat Meehan and Charlie Dent under the new maps. Other districts -- including one west of Pittsburgh -- could become newly competitive.

President Donald Trump had urged the state Republicans to appeal.

"Hope Republicans in the Great State of Pennsylvania challenge the new 'pushed' Congressional Map, all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary," Trump tweeted last week. "Your Original was correct! Don't let the Dems take elections away from you so that they can raise taxes & waste money!"

The Supreme Court previously refused to step into the Pennsylvania case, and election law experts believe the latest filing with the Supreme Court is a long shot.

"Because this was a case decided under the state constitution by the state supreme court, the usual path for review of this case by the US Supreme Court is limited," wrote Richard L. Hasen, an elections law expert at the University of California, Irvine.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 482902

Reported Deaths: 9425
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison33063488
Hinds31021589
DeSoto30610358
Jackson23687348
Rankin21340370
Lee14909220
Madison14166271
Jones13404227
Forrest13160240
Lauderdale11601305
Lowndes10443176
Lamar10214130
Pearl River9098221
Lafayette8241137
Hancock7514112
Washington7102150
Oktibbeha6964124
Monroe6514164
Neshoba6475201
Warren6464164
Pontotoc630393
Panola6250126
Marshall6126123
Bolivar6115144
Union574186
Pike5613136
Alcorn537290
Lincoln5303131
George471472
Scott459196
Leflore4476140
Prentiss446779
Tippah446480
Itawamba4444100
Adams4416116
Tate4394101
Simpson4335112
Wayne433066
Copiah431787
Yazoo423386
Covington415792
Sunflower4148104
Marion4099104
Leake397586
Coahoma3957100
Newton370875
Grenada3556104
Stone350860
Tishomingo336289
Attala325387
Jasper314162
Winston304691
Clay296473
Chickasaw287065
Clarke282190
Calhoun266141
Holmes262187
Smith250649
Yalobusha221047
Tallahatchie220450
Walthall211058
Greene209045
Lawrence206833
Perry199953
Amite198452
Webster196542
Noxubee178939
Montgomery172454
Jefferson Davis168342
Carroll162137
Tunica153334
Benton142535
Kemper138640
Choctaw127026
Claiborne126834
Humphreys126637
Franklin116728
Quitman103926
Wilkinson101936
Jefferson91333
Sharkey63020
Issaquena1926
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 789054

Reported Deaths: 14022
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1115991765
Mobile708511234
Madison49865633
Shelby36274315
Baldwin36242495
Tuscaloosa33931548
Montgomery33190678
Lee22680220
Calhoun21211410
Morgan19816335
Etowah19300462
Marshall17680274
Houston16823386
St. Clair15442305
Cullman14602258
Limestone14581188
Elmore14480264
Lauderdale13520281
Talladega12958236
DeKalb12199237
Walker10588330
Blount9720157
Autauga9667137
Jackson9385158
Coffee8882175
Dale8609173
Colbert8534184
Tallapoosa6673181
Escambia6591121
Covington6452167
Chilton6385144
Russell607255
Franklin5795101
Chambers5416134
Marion4800120
Dallas4705189
Clarke463279
Pike462397
Geneva4413117
Winston425895
Lawrence4117108
Bibb409381
Barbour347270
Marengo326285
Monroe320053
Butler318290
Randolph305956
Pickens305274
Henry301858
Hale292685
Cherokee289855
Fayette279673
Washington245448
Crenshaw238470
Cleburne235851
Clay228565
Macon220158
Lamar197743
Conecuh182046
Lowndes170758
Coosa170235
Wilcox159736
Bullock149243
Perry136537
Sumter124536
Greene121443
Choctaw73427
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Today, as we head out the door, temperatures will be in the low 60s. Going into the afternoon we will see temperatures hitting the mid-80s, definitely a warmer day than the previous few. Some passing clouds can be expected but no rain to start our work week.
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