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Supreme Court Selects PA Congressional Map

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has made a decision on a new congressional map for the Keystone State for the remainder of the decade.

In a 4-3 decision, the high court selected the so-called Carter map, drawn by a Stanford professor and proposed by Democratic plaintiffs.

In addition, the court imposed a new election calendar for the May 17 primary, leaving the day for voting intact while altering the deadlines for candidates’ paperwork to get on the ballot to be filed.

“As a way of resolving the impasse between the governor and the legislature in a way that would be fair to both parties, I was asked to ignore partisan data and draw a map that minimized changes from the 2018 map ordered by the Court, changing boundaries only as required to achieve equal population among the districts using the newest census data,” said Jonathan Rodden, professor of political science at Stanford.

“This approach resulted in a map with compact districts that keep counties, cities, and economic regions together. It also accurately reflects the overall partisanship of the state and includes several very competitive districts, so that changes in voters’ preferences over time will lead to changes in the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation.”

The new map provides eight Republican-leaning districts, six Democratic-leaning districts and three closely divided districts, according to an analysis by FiveThirtyEight, a website that focuses on opinion poll analysis, politics and other topics.

“The Pennsylvania Supreme Court reviewed maps from a breadth of different citizen groups and plaintiffs, and the map they’ve selected reflects the input of voters and the population trends of the last decade,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa (D-43). “With today’s decision, I am very happy to see that we can move forward with petition period and our regularly scheduled May 17 primary, where the voters will decide on their representation.”

“This is not about where lines are drawn or where they could have been drawn,” said Speaker of the House Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) and House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin) in a statement. “The court has now confirmed once and for all they do not abide by the state and federal Constitutions.

“Only the map submitted by House and Senate Republicans followed all constitutional guidelines, went through a deliberative legislative process and was endorsed by a judicial body.

“Sadly, candidates and voters must now submit to a unilateral court that sees itself above every person in our Commonwealth.”

This is a breaking story. Updated 12:17 p.m. with Costa quote. Updated 12:50 with Cutler/Benninghoff quotes. Updated 1:32 p.m. with Rodden quotes.

20 Responses

  1. Cong Cartwright getting Stroudsburg and most of Monroe balances out the growing right wing of Luzerne County. New district means bye bye Bognet. Hey, he could run for office in California.

  2. Does anyone have a link to a site with a downloadable .csv file of the new districts by geocode or precinct ID?

    1. Nevermind. I got it.

      VoterWeb is up and running with the new districts. (Who knows when VAN or PA State Dept will have the new data)

  3. So Keller and Thompson are in the same district. Both of those guys are hardos. They spend all of their time attending stupid ass events where no one even recognizes them. They should spend more time in DC actually getting shit done.

  4. The comments from Cutler and Benninghoff show that honesty and fairness are not in their vocabulary or behavior.

  5. 8th got Stroudsburg? A university town populated with professors and students and higher ed types. Great for the 8th. The Pa Supreme Court has been put in this position because of the incompetent politics of the State Republican House and Senate Leadership as well as the bungled decisions at the Commonwealth Court level. Pa has the modest ardent uncompromising Republicans whose leaders want their cake and eat it too. Embarrassing for the Commonwealth. Pathetic leadership. The PA State Supreme Court were the adults in the room once more on redistricting. Thanks a lot Senate and House Republican Leadership.

  6. This map and the mathematician’s map are the fairest. Congresswoman Wild can’t be too happy about this map with Republican Carbon county being added.

  7. I am a bit disappointed that PA-07 is redder, but that was expected. Still, overall I think that it is a pretty fair map.

  8. All politics aside the 9th district seems odd. Stretching from Lebanon to Susquehanna County seems to miss the community of interest criterion.

    1. I would have probably had the 8th and 9th exchange territory. All the proposals had a weird seat like this somewhere.

    2. It does look a bit odd, but I think some odd looking districts are inevitable due to population constraints. That said, even if Lebanon and Susquehanna are far apart, I would say that based on voting patterns Lebanon still shares a lot of common interests with Susquehanna, much more than it does with Dauphin. Nowadays “common interests” are affected more by the urban/rural divide than geographic proximity.

  9. Very happy that the new map is FAIR and not part of the failed Republican attempts to control the average citizen by goofy districts. The upstate Republicans should move to Florida

  10. Honestly, a pretty fair map. Creates three true swing-seats, IMO (1, 7 and 17). Definitely one of the better choices among all of the proposals.

  11. Cartwright must be breathing a sigh of relief as Meuser is in the 9th. With Daniels running for LG, that leaves Bognet as Cartwright’s current challenger in a district that added Stroudsburg.

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