U.S. Supreme Court - The FindLaw U.S. Supreme Court Opinion Summaries Blog

Pennsylvania GOP Loses Bid to Overturn Redistricting Order

Justice Alito, who presides over matters coming out of the Third Circuit, has rejected the appeal of Pennsylvania's GOP leaders over the state's High Court ruling requiring the overly Republican-friendly voting map be redrawn.

Challengers asserted that the court did not have the authority to redraw voting districts, but that only state legislatures could do so. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court disagreed with that position and denied the existence of a federal question, and the now U.S. Supreme Court refused to get involved, leaving the challengers with little else to do.

Mapping All the Way to the Voting Booth

While SCOTUS is anticipated to make some rather significant rulings on gerrymandering shortly, the Pennsylvania case is rather significant, politically. As reports note, despite the majority vote consistently going democrat in the past few elections, republican candidates have been prevailing thanks to the heavily gerrymandered voting districts. If a fair map is drawn for Pennsylvania, there are four potential seats in the state that could change parties in this year's election.

Political Gerrymandering

Despite the age old sentiment that political gerrymandering was one of the spoils that political victors got, courts have not been upholding districts that have been politically gerrymandered beyond recognition. Recently, one attempt was struck down in North Carolina. However, unlike the Pennsylvania case, SCOTUS did step in and stayed enforcement of an order to redraw state voting districts.

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