Pennsylvania Redistricting Case

Document Type:Case Study

Subject Area:Politics

Document 1

In 2011, the U. S lawsuit contended that Pennsylvania elected officials influenced the establishment of boundaries of the congressional district while attempting to minimizing Democratic voters’ ability to elect house representatives and entrenching most of Republican delegation in Congress. Filed in the Commonwealth Court of state was a complaint that alleged the design of the current congressional maps to be packing many Democratic voters as compared to Republicans in the 17th, 14th, 13th, 2nd, and 1st Pennsylvania’s district (Brennan Center, 2018). Concurrently, the map was designed to ensure that the remaining Democratic voters were distributed throughout the other 13 districts in order to reduce their voting impact in all the 13 districts. This resultant effect increases the Pennsylvania’s number of congressional seats that are occupied by the Republicans.

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In striking down the map and terming it unconstitutional, the justices argued that the new districts should be contiguous and compact as much as possible. The new map they presented in an order is comparable and superior to proposals that were submitted by interested groups and the participants during the historic moment that ruled out the challenge. From various analysis of this trend, it is expected that the Republicans would still be having some advantage with the newly generated map, though not as that much as they were having with the previous maps. Since 2011 during the last enactment, the Republicans have dominated the House seats by 13 out of 18 seats in every election. With the introduction of the new map, there are several changes that are to be made on the boundaries of some counties and districts.

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S. constitution under the election clause by the state supreme court, as it was giving the state legislators dominance over the regulation of federal congressional elections. Amidst several things, the defendants struggle, the state court pursued a criterion that would judge constitutionally the congressional districts by looking at it as a whole. The state court therefore set a plan on remedying the violations it realized that the legislators would not be concerned with. However, unless the state court focuses on this matter immediately, the defendants will hold on to their solid stand that the scheduled primaries will not proceed with the use of the previous map that was enacted in 2011 (The Public Interest, 2018). The latest and recent application was turned down by the court without noted dissents or comments.

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This denial of the application over the newly generated map, like the previous ones, was not surprising since the Pennsylvania court had its rulings based majorly on the state Constitution. In regards to the state laws, the decisions and rulings of the state supreme courts are usually final. The Supreme Court has intensely been engaging in the issue of partisan gerrymandering, where the party aligned to the government draws voting districts as to its advantage (Howe, 2018). Among other hearings related to gerrymandering, the Supreme Court will be hearing arguments on racial gerrymandering on April 24, 2018 in Texas. brennancenter. org/legal-work/league- women-voters-v-pennslyvania (Accessed April 19, 2018). Howe, A. (February 27, 2018). Republican lawmakers return to court on Pennsylvania redistricting. com/philly/news/politics/pennsylvania-gerrymandering-supreme-court- map-congressional-districts-2018-elections-20180219.

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