Pennsylvania’s liberal Supreme Court approves a new congressional map that eliminates a GOP district

Pennsylvania’s left-leaning Supreme Court just approved a congressional map that eliminates a solidly Republican district, the Daily Caller reports

Other than that, the outlet reports that the new congressional map doesn’t make too many changes.

Specifics

Pennsylvania lost one seat in the most recent census. All-in-all, of the 17 remaining districts in Pennsylvania, Democrats currently control nine, and Republicans, eight on the new map.

But, the Daily Caller reports that, with this new map, there are opportunities for Pennsylvania Republicans to pick up seats.

The outlet reports:

The map leaves competitive seats near Pittsburgh and in Allentown and Scranton. While Democrats currently hold all three, Republicans could benefit from a favorable political cycle, which could lead to an 11-6 GOP advantage if they manage to flip all three.

The Daily Caller reports that Republicans will have the opportunity to take back two open seats for the western suburbs of Pittsburgh. This includes the seat that is being vacated by state Rep. Conor Lamb (D), who is vying for a state senate seat.

The new map, however, puts GOP state Reps. Glenn Thompson and Fred Keller in the same district. Accordingly, one of them is going to lose out.

Background

Typically, the redistricting process takes place through the state legislature. But, in Pennsylvania, the process was taken over by the state Supreme Court after a disagreement was reached between the state’s Republican-led legislature and Democratic governor, Tom Wolf.

Arguing that it is unfair, Wolf, at the beginning of the month, vetoed a congressional map from the legislature. This is when the courts got involved.

At first, the matter was put before the Republican-led state Commonwealth Court. It had plans to select from 13 different congressional maps, but it never got the opportunity to do so because the Democrat-led state Supreme Court, at the request of the Democrats, took the process over.

The state Supreme Court set out a timeline that allowed the Commonwealth Court to make a recommendation by February 7 and that gave parties to object by February 14. Oral arguments were held on February 18. And, we now know the result, namely, an apparent victory for Pennsylvania Democrats.

It is clear by now that, throughout the country, redistricting is not going according to the Republicans’ plan.

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