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Justices out-democrated the Democrats with congressional map, NYT says

March 15, 2018 GMT

In the latest dispatch on gerrymandering revisited, a trio of New York Times reporters analyzed congressional districts in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s new map for the 2018 primary and concluded the court did a better job of boosting Democrats than the party itself did with its map.

Ruling on a challenge from the League of Women Voters in January, the state high court last month declared the Pennsylvania 2011 congressional map unconstitutional due to partisan gerrymandering that gave Republicans 13 of 18 congressional seats in a state where Democrats held an 800,000 voter registration margin.

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GOP lawmakers, who control Pennsylvania’s General Assembly, complained that the court was controlled by Democratic justices and promptly appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. When the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case, Republican state lawmakers rushed to meet a court-ordered Feb. 15 deadline to submit a new map to Gov. Tom Wolf.

Last week, moments before the expiration of the court’s deadline, they forwarded a new map to Wolf. The governor, who rejected it as favoring Republicans, forwarded a map favored by Democrats to the State Supreme Court. The court rejected both maps and came up with a map created by expert consultants it had hired for the job.

Debra Erdley is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-320-7996 or derdley@tribweb.com or via Twitter @deberdley_trib