The Commonwealth Court had previously ruled that the case should wait until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on a similar case from Wisconsin before rendering a decision. The state Supreme Court ruled in a 4-3 split decision.
“This is certainly a major step forward for Pennsylvania voters, because they deserve their day in court and now they’re going to get that day in court in time to have a determination for the 2018 elections,” legal director of the Philadelphia-based Public Interest Law Center Mimi McKenzie said according to the Patriot News.
The Public Interest Law Center is representing the League of Women Voters, who brought the case. The ruling by the Supreme Court also includes the decision to fast-track the case, opening the door to possibility of the lines being redrawn ahead of the 2018 elections.
If they are redrawn, it could open the door to large-scale changes in the Congressional representation of the state.
“Although disappointed by today’s decision, the plaintiffs have not prevailed on anything but the right to be heard. Senator Scarnati will defend the constitutional 2011 maps in Commonwealth Court and Federal Court over the next months,” counsel and chief of staff to Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) Drew Crompton told the Patriot News.