Image

12:12 AM / Sunday July 14, 2024

24 Feb 2018

Trump urges GOP to fight Pennsylvania’s congressional map

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
February 24, 2018 Category: Week In Review Posted by:

ABOVE CARTOON:  John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune, PA

 

By Marc Levy

associated press

HARRISBURG, Pa. — President Donald Trump on Tuesday encouraged Republicans to fight Pennsylvania’s new court-imposed map of congressional districts, issued a day earlier in a move expected to improve Democrats’ chances at chipping away at the GOP’s U.S. House majority.

Trump tweeted that Republicans should challenge the new map of Pennsylvania’s 18 congressional districts all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary.

“Your Original was correct! Don’t let the Dems take elections away from you so that they can raise taxes & waste money!” Trump tweeted.

Republicans vowed as early as Tuesday to challenge it in federal court.

The Democratic-majority state Supreme Court met its own deadline Monday to issue the new boundaries after it threw out a 6-year-old GOP-drawn map as unconstitutionally gerrymandered. The Republican-controlled Legislature and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf did not produce a consensus replacement map in the three weeks allotted by the court.

The new map is to be in effect for the May 15 primary and substantially overhauls a Republican-drawn congressional map widely viewed as among the nation’s most gerrymandered.

New boundaries will likely usher in changes to Pennsylvania’s predominantly Republican delegation, which has provided a crucial pillar of support for GOP control of the U.S. House.

Most significantly, the new map gives Democrats a better shot at winning a couple more seats, particularly in Philadelphia’s heavily populated and moderate suburbs. There, Republicans have held seats in bizarrely contorted districts, including one described as “Goofy Kicking Donald Duck.”

Republican Rep. Ryan Costello, whose suburban Philadelphia district was narrowly won by Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016, is in even more dire straits now that his district adds the heavily Democratic city of Reading.

The state’s delegation is already facing big changes in a year with six open seats, the most in decades. Meanwhile, candidates finding themselves in a new political landscape are rethinking campaigns a week before they can start circulating petitions to run.

The map removes the heart of one district from Philadelphia, where a crowd of candidates had assembled to replace the retiring Democratic Rep. Bob Brady, and moves it to suburban Montgomery County.

The new map does not apply to the March 13 special congressional election in southwestern Pennsylvania’s 18th District to fill the remaining 10 months in the term of former Republican Rep. Tim Murphy, who resigned amid a scandal. But it renders the special election virtually meaningless: the court’s map puts each candidate’s homes in a district with a Pittsburgh-area incumbent.

The court ruled last month that Republicans who redrew district boundaries in 2011 unconstitutionally put partisan interests above neutral line-drawing criteria. It was the first time any state court threw out congressional boundaries in a partisan gerrymandering case, this one brought by registered Democratic voters and the League of Women Voters last June.

The new map repackages districts that had been stretched nearly halfway across Pennsylvania and reunifies Democratic-heavy cities that had been split by Republican map drawers six years ago.

Democrats cheered the new map, while Republicans blasted it.

Independent analysts said the map should improve Democratic prospects while still favoring Republicans as a whole. An analysis conducted through PlanScore.org concluded the court’s redrawn map eliminates “much of the partisan skew” favoring Republicans on the old Republican-drawn map, although not all of it.

University of Florida political science doctoral student Brian Amos said Clinton beat Republican Donald Trump in eight of 18 districts in the 2016 presidential election on the court’s map. That compared with six of 18 districts Clinton won in 2016 under the invalidated map.

Republicans who controlled the Legislature and the governor’s office after the 2010 census crafted the now-invalidated map to elect Republicans and succeeded in that aim: Republicans won 13 of 18 seats in three straight elections even though Pennsylvania’s registered Democratic voters outnumber Republicans.

Republicans will argue in federal court that legislatures and governors, not courts, have the constitutional responsibility to draw congressional maps. But they appear to face an uphill battle since federal courts are normally reluctant to undo a state court decision, said Michael Morley, a constitutional law professor at Barry University in Florida.

“I think it will be a major obstacle and a major challenge to get around it,” Morley said.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News

Color Of Money

Start in the attic to keep your home and energy budget cool

July 7, 2024

Tweet Email BPT Is your home ready for what may be another historically warm summer season? According...

Philly NAACP

June 30, 2024

June 22, 2024

Tweet Email Tweet Email Related Posts Philadelphia Judicial Primary Candidates At A Glance Guide Philadelphia Judicial Candidates...

Health

Top OB-GYN reveals easy tips for reproductive health and wellness

July 2, 2024

Tweet Email BPT Taking care of your sexual and reproductive health is an important part of your...

Travel

The Lincoln Highway is your next great road trip

July 2, 2024

Tweet Email BPT You’ve probably heard of Route 66 and the Blue Ridge Parkway, but do you...

SUNrise

cj speaks…Trusting in God

May 19, 2024

Tweet Email Life is filled with so many choices, opportunities, and decisions. Sometimes it is so overwhelming,...

Home and Garden

Elevate your outdoor retreat with 4 innovative hardscaping designs

July 6, 2024

Tweet Email BPT Summer is here — it’s time to consider how you’ll use your outdoor spaces...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff