The congressional redistricting map selected by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will be in effect for the upcoming 2022 elections.
The US Supreme Court denied an effort by Pennsylvania Republicans to block a state court-ordered congressional districting plan, the Associated Press reported.
The order allows the map selected by the state Supreme Court to be in effect for the upcoming 2022 elections. The justices provided no explanation for their actions. The four conservative Supreme Court justices did indicate they want to address the issue of limiting the power of state courts over federal elections in the future. Republicans argued that state courts lack the authority to second-guess legislatures’ decisions about the conduct of elections for Congress and the presidency.
“We will have to resolve this question sooner or later, and the sooner we do so, the better. This case presented a good opportunity to consider the issue, but unfortunately the court has again found the occasion inopportune,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in a dissent from the Supreme Court’s order, joined by Justices Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas.
Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation lost a seat in the US House of Representatives, going from 18 to 17 due to slow population growth. Pennsylvania has had 18 representatives in the US House for the last decade, down from 19 in the previous decade. The districts have been split evenly between Republicans and Democrats since they were redrawn by the state Supreme Court in 2018 in response to partisan gerrymandering by Republicans.
This year, the state court got involved because of partisan bickering and lawsuits over redistricting. The GOP-controlled Legislature approved a plan, which Gov. Tom Wolf then vetoed, saying it was the result of a “partisan political process.”
Republicans said the map they came up with would elect nine Democrats and eight Republicans. State courts eventually stepped in and approved a map that probably will elect 10 Democrats, the GOP argued.
Lawsuits continue in the commonwealth, but the Supreme Court’s decision this week signals that this year’s elections for Congress will take place under the maps approved by Pennsylvania’s top court.