SCOTUS could give PA Republicans a reprieve from the ruling by the Democrat-dominated PA Supreme Court that struck down gerrymandered districts and set a quick-approaching deadline of February 15th, else the court would draw the maps themselves.
|US Supreme Court to consider Pennsylvania redistricting stay|
As key election deadlines quickly approach, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito signaled he will consider blocking a state Supreme Court order to rewrite congressional district boundaries.
Voters who convinced the state Supreme Court to rule that the present boundaries violate the state constitution have until Sunday to respond to Republican voters’ appeal of that ruling, according to Alito’s order issued late Monday afternoon. Last Thursday, the Republicans asked for a stay of the Jan. 22 state Supreme Court order for new boundaries because of tight election deadlines, potential confusion among voters because of rewritten districts and because the nation’s highest court rules is considering redistricting cases in other states.
The state Supreme Court ruled the present congressional districts, in place since 2011, “clearly, plainly and palpably” violate the state constitution. The court promised an order explaining its reasoning, but so far hasn’t produced one. That is another reason the U.S. Supreme Court should stay the state ruling, Republicans contend.
The court gave the General Assembly until Feb. 9, to produce a new congressional district map and Gov. Tom Wolf until Feb. 15, to sign one.
If that doesn’t happen, the court said it would “expeditiously” adopt a new map based on testimony already presented in the case.
The Monday deadline is five days before the state Supreme Court’s deadline for a new map. Presumably, Alito would rule on the stay request before then.
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