U.S Supreme Court Denies Republican Request for Stay

The U.S. Supreme Court denied an appeal for a stay of the state Supreme Court’s decision forcing a redraw of Pennsylvania’s Congressional maps.


The appeal was one of the last resorts of Republicans in the state legislature to allow the current Congressional maps to be used for this year’s election.  

The legislature now has until Friday to draw new Congressional maps and submit them to Governor Wolf.  

Republicans are also pushing to force Justice David Wecht to recuse himself from the decision that forced the redraw, forcing a tie vote and allowing the maps to remain for this year.

39 Responses

  1. As currently drawn, the Pennsylvania Congressional District Map provides for maximum balance of power among all federal representatives. Large contiguous areas can only promote further territorial exclusivity. Having another congressman in an elongated district nearby (as in current pre-court mapping) will mandate more intercooperation among Representatives in Washington DC. Democrats’ behavior during the State Of The Union message on January 30th clearly shows desire for less intercooperation and more territorial exclusivity.

  2. Honestly, for the life of me, I can’t figure out why the Republicans haven’t already pushed through legislation towards the creation of a truly non-partisan fair districting process. Democrats will be in the driver’s seat for the next round of redistricting after the 2020 census, and many of them are salivating at the prospect of repaying the GOP for their imposition of these ridiculous maps.

    1. Couldn’t agree more. It’s a solution that protects all parties. Most importantly, the average Pennsylvania voter.

    2. DemSocialist-

      1) They think Wagner will win.

      2) They are always short-sighted in their policies (look at budget gimmicks)

      3) The Democrats will find themselves under assault from their left flank if they attempt to gerrymander.

  3. What about Scallia and other Republican Judges running around giving talks about conservative rulings. Shouldn’t they have recused themselves based on your logic?

      1. Meanwhile Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch gave a speech to Republican conservatives in the Trump D.C. Hotel owned by the very president who nominated him for his lifetime position—as the president directly profited from Gorsuch being a big draw at the event in his very own hotel, and this was before October 2017.

        Gorsuch’s willingness to do that brought the odor of conflict of interest The problem directly:

        With multiple Trump decisions headed to the Court’s docket, respect for our confidence in the institution as citizens should have led Gorsuch to not go there.

        As in justice to hear cases on Trump Hotel emolument clause violations participates in event at Trump Hotel!!!
        An ethics expert noted– Gorsuch “should have known better than to sign up as the headliner for an event that will line Donald Trump’s pockets in a way that is at best ethically sketchy, and at worst downright unconstitutional.”

        Not only that, facts suggest outside groups and dark money supporting Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation may have had contacts with the DOJ.

      2. I just used him as an example of someone on the right who went around giving talks about how he has and will “conservative rulings.”

        He was the worst offender. I know he’s dead.

  4. That a Republican-led Supreme Court dissed PA. republicans is significant.

    Even the conservative Greensburg Tribune Review was shocked what had been unfairly done to local Jeanette prior to the 2016 election.
    18 districts controlled by diabolical Republicans 13-5 despite registered Democrats outnumbering them 5-4??

    Blatantly unfair engineering by state GOP and their Koch donors.
    So egregious by precedent that “district shapes included one critics said resembled “Goofy kicking Donald Duck.”
    Finally some sense made of this debacle.

    1. That is because Democrats are in their small area sized cities (compared to the rest of the state)

      1. Right but historically our judicial system has said that congressional districts are based on population, not on whether something is “small area sized.” The 140,000 people in Cambria should not have equal representation to the 1.2 million people who reside in Allegheny. More people, more representation.

        1. Reply to Luke:
          Counties and towns were unnecessarily divided in order to elect Republicans.
          Example–Greensburg and Jeanette are virtually suburbs of Pittsburgh, a major city. Your theory falls flat.
          The Court ruled the districts were unconstitutionally gerrymandered specifically and purposely to benefit the Republican Party.
          That’s unconstitutional.
          The quote from the Court is those boundaries “clearly, plainly and palpably” violated the Pennsylvania Constitution.
          It was so partisan it may have also violated the U.S. Constitution.

  5. It’s pretty clear that the judicial bodies–Pa Supreme Court and US Supreme Court–have spoken and new congressional districts must be drawn. The League of Women Voters and other assorted civic groups have long advocated a generic committee to redraw the districts to ensure fundamental fairness which is what supports our democracy. This entire case would never have happened if the politicians only followed the wisdom of the ethical community groups seeking proper political representation.

  6. Isaac,
    this is not the same wolf that ran for office
    please look on his money list psea 3 million
    etc. etc. that is were and how the lines will be drawn and approved. He said i will not be using my own money, this means that the puppet strings are attached and ready to go.

  7. Sally Mundy admits she took $25,000 in campaign contributions from King Scarnati. Why doesn’t SHE recuse?

  8. So it looks like Tom Wolf will veto ANY redrawn map so the Democrat Controlled Supreme Court of PA can……GERRYMANDER PA’s Congressional Districts……to favor Democrats. No state in the Union is more GERRYMANDERED than Illinois, let that sink in.

    Gerrymandering is bad, but good when Democrats can do it.

    1. Joe.

      No. Wolf has already stated he won’t sign gerrymandered map.

      The GOP can avoid a gerrymandering against them by picking a fair, non-partisan map from the many available.

      1. David, he also said he will run the state like his business do not be so trusting look @ his
        contribution list that where the lines go!!!!!

        1. truth hurts-

          He’s been a fool on how he runs things because he has terrible advisers. However, this is a much more public/adjudicated issue with a clear mandate by the Dems for FAIR districts. Wolf would be even more foolish than usual to attempt to apply his own gerrymandering. The courts will produce a fair map, if Wolf and legislature can’t.

          Any side that attempts to gerrymander will pay a high political price.

          The Dems can expect a flip of 4-6 seats from a fair map. There’s no need to gerrymander it, and risk the GOP getting it halted.

          If the GOP produces a fair map, Wolf will not be able to get away with vetoing it. The congressional candidates are suffering with the lack of resolution and would push back if Wolf vetoed a good/fair map and delayed them further.

      2. That’s like promising to give something that you don’t have in the first place. Given the current partisan makeup of the state legislature, what are the odds that they will put a map gerrymandered to favor Democrats on Wolf’s desk? He will veto whatever the Republicans produce, assuming that they produce anything, so that the Court can take charge Also, please define “fair”, because I see a lot of people who are going to be sorely disappointed if the new districts are not 9 and 9 for Democrats and Republicans and, given the geographical concentration of partisan voters, I’m not sure how you would achieve that goal, even if you gerrymandered in a different way. Compact, contiguous, near equal populations, preservation of municipal integrity and no dilution of majority-minority districts should be the only criteria. This is a band aide solution. The Democrats need to actually start digging themselves out of their ever deepening hole by winning back previous and nominal Democratic voters who have abandoned them in droves in down ballot elections these past two decades. That’s the only sustainable way to ensure that they get a fair say in the future.

    2. No veto in this one. He just wont sign it and it goes and Supreme Court draws the map. The map that is already drawn. If Scarnati is smart, he would save what he can and concede Delco and Montco to Dems. Draw out Brady seat and keep the Bucks seat. Do what they can do to save Costello. Anything less would be malpractice on the part of GOP Leadership.

      1. They should just pick a fair map and be responsible adults.

        Wolf would not only look bad for not signing a fair map, but the delay would hurt the Dems running for Congress.

    3. That can be avoided Joe. All the Republicans have to do is let HB 722 come to a vote and then help pass it. There are enough co-sponsors now to form a majority in the House. That way, if the Democrats gerrymander now, it can then be fixed in 2021. By the way, most of the heavily gerrymandered states were made that way by Republicans. Let THAT sink in.

      1. That’s interesting point to pass HB 722 now.

        It’s really a disgrace that GOP are so partisan that they haven’t supported HB 722.

  9. Wouldn’t have expected the SCOTUS to intervene at this point, given that the PA Supreme Court purposely didn’t involve the federal constitution in its opinion.

    Where things would change, in my opinion, is if/when the PA Supreme Court purports to reject a new map and simply draw one of their own.

    1. Go back to the 2001 to 2011 Districts. They’re more “evenly” shaped compared to now, but, I think the PA Supreme Court is just coordinating with Tom Wolf to, guess what,……GERRYMANDER PA for the Democrats.

      1. Reapportionment after the 2010 Census required that Pennsylvania lose a congressional seat. It’s quite literally impossible to go back to pre-2010 maps.

      2. No. This will be fair. Both sides have their hands tied. That or it will be drawn by a computer.

  10. I may have missed it in an earlier article, but on what grounds are they calling on Wecht to recuse?

    1. They were upset that Justice Wecht was on the record as saying that partisan gerrymandering is bad, and claimed that meant he was biased. He’s also on record that Nazis are bad, and, presumably, that apple pie is good. They’re grasping at straws.

      1. Gerrymandering is bad,…..but its good if Democrats can do it.

        The PA Supreme Court is just looking to gerrymander PA in favor of the Democrats……that’s it.

        1. Joe

          It’s bad when the dems do it. The rules need to be setup to so that gerrymandering can’t occur.

        2. Joe, you have no idea what you are talking about. Gov. Wolf has been on the record literally his entire career as being against gerrymandering. His doctoral thesis was on gerrymandering. It’s one thing to have a strong opinion, but it is quite another thing to go around spouting it repeatedly after you have been repeatedly shown that your opinion is factually incorrect.

          1. That’s what trump has done to people. It’s always an attack, there’s always a war or a new battle to run fight. Everyone should be agreed that this is right for the state.

          2. If the Gov is so pro democracy how come he protects the people on death row who were convicted after a jury trial and doesnt enforce the law?

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