Saturday, 21 April, 2018

Republican leaders continue fight against new congressional map

Speaking out Students who survived shooting talk activism Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed
Sammy Stanley | 22 February, 2018, 06:54

Rep. Ryan Costello (R) would face a more hard re-election campaign in the southeastern 6th District, which was revised to include all of Chester County and southeastern Berks County.

In these pages, Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, R-Centre, accused the state high court of provoking a "constitutional crisis" with its actions.

Democrats who had previously announced their candidacy in the 7th District are former Central Intelligence Agency officer Shelly Chauncey, attorney Dan Muroff, bioengineer Molly Sheehan, Realtor Elizabeth Moro, state Rep. Greg Vitali, D-166 of Haverford, Julie Eble, former U.S. Attorney Ashley Lunkenheimer, Mary Gay Scanlon and state Sen.

Less than two weeks later, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court invalidated the 2011 Pennsylvania congressional map on the basis of the state constitution - which has no explicit language addressing the drawing of congressional district lines. And Luzerne County is split to provide more Democrats in the 8th Congressional District, where the incumbent would be Democrat Matt Cartwright, Toomey said.

Landau said the redrawn map makes the county competitive for Democrats.

State and national Republican officials will file a federal lawsuit as soon as Wednesday seeking to block a new Pennsylvania congressional map released on Monday by the state's high court, the party's congressional campaign arm said on Tuesday.

The new map also features districts that are more compact.

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In a rare visit to Harrisburg, Republican US Senator Pat Toomey made clear his strong opposition to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's decision to redraw the state's congressional maps.

The order called for congressional districts to be "composed of compact and contiguous territory; as almost equal in population as practicable; and which do not divide any county, city, incorporated town, borough, township, or ward, except where necessary to ensure equality of population". The overall shift is modest: According to our projection methodology in Monopoly Politics, compared to the old map, this map would give Democrats one additional seat in an even, 50-50 year, and it would give them two additional seats in a year that favors Democrats by more than half of a percent. When they got the chance, no surprise, they tossed the Republican map and replaced it with their own, Democratic-friendly map.

Just like other supposedly nonpartisan redistricting efforts, the Supreme Court's creation succumbed to the inherently political nature of congressional mapmaking. Delaware County Republican Party Chairman Andy Reilly said he supports that endeavor. The GOP had won 13 of Pennsylvania's 18 congressional seats in each of the three elections held under that map.

The current districts that Republicans want to keep were a partisan gerrymander under the state Constitution, says Levine, and the state Supreme Court was right to strike them down.

Turzai called that move "a usurpation of democracy".

While the new map is not as blatantly gerrymandered as the 2011 Republican map, it makes a lot of small, subtle choices meant to nudge congressional districts toward the Democrats, as The New York Times' Nate Cohn demonstrates.

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