US Supreme Court Lets Pennsylvania Ruling Stand In Gerrymandering Case


Pennsylvania's congressional map, which was deemed unconstitutional by the Pa. Supreme Court (Keystone Crossroads)

KEYSTONE CROSSROADS – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has denied the request for a stay on the ruling overturning Pennsylvania’s congressional district map.

Republican lawmakers, who were sued for creating an unconstitutionally gerrymandered congressional map, had turned to the nation’s top court after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s split decision in January.

State legislators have until Friday to propose a new map, but say they’ve been flying blind without additional guidance from the Pa. Supreme Court, which has yet to offer its full opinion.

Lawmakers did begin moving a shell bill for the new map, which is meant to be updated with specifics later.  It takes at least a week to pass legislation through both chambers.

The state court overturned the map Jan. 22 in a three-page order that gave little guidance on what it would consider a constitutional map beyond making attempts to keep counties and municipalities whole.

Republicans also are trying to get the ruling invalidated by going after state Supreme Court justices for alleged conflicts of interest.

They filed an application last week to disqualify Justice David Wecht from the case, calling for the court’s orders in the case invalidated based on statements the Democrat made while campaigning.

They also called for additional disclosures from Justice Christine Donohue.

The defendants also have asked the court for a public hearing on these ethical issues.