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20 March 2018, 04:23 | Colleen Roy
In a separate case, two senior Republicans in the state Legislature who were on the losing end of the state Supreme Court decision asked the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a stay, which would have resulted in the use of the 2011 map for this year's congressional elections in Pennsylvania. Add to this the fact that the aforementioned Conor Lamb won the 18th district, which is the old, gerrymandered map, and the Pennsylvania GOP have a much tougher fight on their hands.
Noting that there is still another decision looming on the maps, Wolf said: "I think in this case, the federal panel made the right decision, and we are going to be able to go forward with a fair map".
That decision spawned appeals in U.S. District Court and to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The new map, which now nearly certainly will be the lines under which candidates will run in 2018, also handed Democrats a series of opportunities including at least three seats in southeastern Pennsylvania and several more improved opportunities in places like Allentown and southwestern Pennsylvania.
The Democratic majority on the state Supreme Court had ruled in January that a map Republicans crafted in 2011 amounted to an unconstitutional gerrymander.
Your Congressional district will change: A look at the Pa.
A group of 18 Democratic voters sued in state court a year ago to challenge the 2011 map, a case the state Supreme Court put on a fast track before throwing out the former district lines.
Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. turned down the state's first request on February 5, after the state supreme court ordered a new map.
The state Supreme Court had concluded that the state's 2011 Congressional maps were illegally gerrymandered to benefit Republican candidates.
When Pennsylvania lawmakers and the Democratic governor didn't agree on a new map, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued its own map, drawn with the help of a Stanford law professor.
There are few legal options left for Republicans in the state.
Because the ruling was based on the state's constitution and not the US Constitution, the options for opponents to challenge it were limited.
According to the Washington Post, Democrats could see a net gain of three or four seats in November's midterm elections, which would provide a crucial boost in the party's bid to reclaim control of the House of Representatives.
"When a court is compelled to draw lines, relying on a special master or an expert to do so, it should remind legislatures that they have the opportunity to do so if they can come to an agreement", Goldfeder said.
"If the ice cream's melting on the dot, you have Justice Alito considering the...request", Chief U.S. District Judge Christopher Conner said during the hearing.
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