14:37, February 20 358 0 abajournal.com

2018-02-20 14:37:05
Pennsylvania Supreme Court issues its own congressional map

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Monday issued its own congressional map to be used in May’s primary election.

The new boundaries could help Democrats gain three or four seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, report the New York Times and the Washington Post. Democrats currently hold five of 18 congressional districts in the swing state.

The new map has eight districts won by Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election and 10 districts won by Donald Trump, according to the Post.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court drew the map with the help of Stanford law professor Nathaniel Persily.

The court acted after holding in January that the map drawn by Republicans was a partisan gerrymander that violated the state constitution. The court said in its Monday decision that it had the authority to act because state lawmakers and the governor didn’t agree on a replacement map.

The court “has full constitutional authority and responsibility” to fashion an appropriate remedy,” the decision said.

State legislative leaders disagreed.

“Implementation of this map would create a constitutional crisis where the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is usurping the authority of the legislative and executive branches,” said the statement by the leader of the state senate, Joe Scarnati, and the leader of the House, Mike Turzai.

They have argued the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision violated the U.S. Constitution’s elections clause, which generally gives state legislatures exclusive authority regarding the time, place and manner of congressional elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court previously denied a stay of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s redrawing order.

More coverage of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision is available at BuzzFeed News, Philly.com and the Allentown Morning Call.