Pennsylvania GOP Submits New Congressional Map to Governor


Though GOP leaders are confident the new map will pass legal muster, they must secure the approval of the state's Democratic governor, Gov. Tom Wolf.

Pennsylvania lawmakers are approaching a court-imposed deadline to redraw the state's map of congressional districts that was thrown out on grounds it unfairly helped Republicans. It would ensure Republicans keep an outsized number of seats in a state closely divided between the two parties.

The GOP-drawn map passed in 2011 has been a political victor for Republicans, giving them a 13-5 advantage in three straight elections in a state with more registered Democrats than Republicans. Whatever map is used in Pennsylvania could have a significant affect on who wins the House of Representatives in November.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court declared the state's congressional map unconstitutional last month because, it said, the map was gerrymandered to favor Republicans, who control 13 of 18 U.S. House seats in Pennsylvania despite winning votes from roughly half the electorate. Wolf has until Thursday, Feb. 15 to approve a map and submit it to the court for consideration. In 2016, for example, President Donald Trump won 12 of the state's districts and Hillary Clinton won six.

Here's what the new Pa. congressional map could look like

The Pennsylvania state legislature has produced a new map for the state's congressional districts, after the state Supreme Court concluded the old map unlawfully favored Republicans over Democrats. "At just about every opportunity, the GOP map makes subtle (and occasionally not so subtle) choices that add up to a fairly considerable advantage", he said on Twitter.

The CBS coverage reminded viewers that both Democratic and Republican parties are guilty of gerrymandering and both parties have long decried it. It's unclear if the governor will accept it, or whether there will be a negotiation with the Republican leaders in the legislature.

The proposed map "complies fully" with the court's order, the pair said in a joint statement. If he does not, then the State Supreme Court will oversee the drawing of a new congressional district map.

A better scenario would be for Gov. Tom Wolf or the court to signal to the Legislature that a map will not be approved unless it strictly conforms to the Pennsylvania Constitution's mandate of "compact and contiguous territory ... almost equal in population" and is drawn without unnecessarily carving up municipalities. And in filing their proposal Friday night, they indicated they would not necessarily submit to a court-drawn plan.

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