GOP rep. introduces resolutions to impeach Supreme Court justices

Nathaniel Persily

Nathaniel Persily

The redistricting dispute then returned to Pennsylvania, where the state supreme court adopted a remedial plan.

The U.S. Supreme Court, meanwhile, rejected the Republicans' petition in a single-line order.

A panel of Federal Judges and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to block the map.

The earlier state map has been a campaign victor for Republicans, leading them to a 13-5 edge in Pennsylvania's congressional delegation for all three elections in which it was used, even though Democrats had a voter registration edge. Even a modest gain of seats in Pennsylvania could be a significant factor in helping the Democrats regain control of the House of Representatives, if recent election results favorable to Democrats continue this fall.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court released a redrawn district map in February after determining that the map drawn in 2011 had been unconstitutionally gerrymandered to benefit the GOP.

Supreme Court justices are elected in Pennsylvania.

The Republicans moved to impeach Justices David Wecht, Christine Donahue, Kevin Dougherty and Debra McCloskey Todd, all Democrats who found the state's congressional map was created to favor Republicans and must be replaced before the May primary.

For almost three weeks, the Supreme Court took no action on the final appeal from the Pennsylvania GOP. This time Alito referred the request to the full court, but the justices did not act for almost three weeks; when they finally did take action this afternoon, they issued only a terse one-sentence order, without any recorded dissents.

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In the 13th district in southcentral Pennsylvania, Brent Ottaway is running unopposed for the Democratic nomination.

Under the new map, which was issued last month, Democrats have a good chance of picking up three seats in the Philadelphia suburbs.

The questions were: did that Clause bar the state Supreme Court from drawing its own map using criteria that it had just spelled out for the first time, and did that Clause require the state court to give the legislature sufficient time to come up on its own with a replacement map?

An attempt by republican lawmakers to throw out a new congressional map has been dealt a major setback.

Indeed, the Pennsylvania map, full of arthritically shaped districts, was considered one of the most gerrymandered in the country.

The boost for Democrats in those four districts - as well as improved numbers in other districts that are still seen as reaches for the party - comes as Democrats are increasingly emboldened that they can take back the House majority in 2018. If you're in an optimistic mood, it might suggest that the Supreme Court is becoming less tolerant of blatant gerrymandering.

Republican legislators in the state have fought to block the new map since January, arguing that the legislature should have been the one to redraw the map.

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