All eyes have been on Pennsylvania this week after the state supreme court released their own version of the new congressional district maps.
Back in 2011, a Republican majority drew the former map, which was considered one of the most gerrymandered in the entire country. Last month, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled the map “clearly, plainly, and palpably” violated the state constitution.
The Republican majority redrew the Congressional map and sent an updated version to Governor Wolf’s desk last week, which he later rejected.
This week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court released the new Pennsylvania Congressional map that is set to take effect for the May 2018 primaries. This map not only re-shapes the districts, but it also renumbers them as well. If you live in Philadelphia, you may be seeing a shake up in your district and represenation. The first district – currently held by Representative Bob Brady, no longer encompasses parts of Philadelphia. The first district is now in Bucks county, while the second, third, and fifth districts divide Philadelphia.
That poses an interesting problem for those who were running for that first district seat. Some have decided they will challenge incumbents – such as Willie Singletary – who plans to challenge Representative Dwight Evans in the second district. Other, such as Nina Ahmad – have yet to declare whether or not they plan to run.
The deadline to file for the congressional ballot has been postponed until further notice amidst the controversy over the new mapping.
Pennsylvania Republicans filed a motion with the U.S. Supreme Court for a stay on the new map – a Hail Mary that seems unlikely to be successful. Republicans appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s ruling on the old map last month, but Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. rejected the motion.
Dr. Robin Kolodny, the Chair of the Political Science Department at Temple University, believes all eyes will be turning to the Keystone State as the primaries, and midterms approach.
“This primary season and this general election is going to be intensely focused on by national influences there will be a lot more campaigning being done especially in the southeast corner of the state.”
No word as to how the Supreme Court will rule on this latest appeal by Pennsylvania Republicans. President Trump tweeted out Tuesday he supports the GOP’s challenging of the new congressional map.
Hope Republicans in the Great State of Pennsylvania challenge the new “pushed” Congressional Map, all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary. Your Original was correct! Don’t let the Dems take elections away from you so that they can raise taxes & waste money!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2018
This new map is set to go into effect for the May 2018, but will not effect the March special election for the 18th district. The seat was vacated by Representative Tim Murphy (R) back in October, after he resigned from office following a sex scandal. Rick Saccone (R) and Connor Lamb (D) are running a very close race, according to the latest Monmouth University poll. Saccone sits at 49% with Lamb at 46%, with a 5.5% margin of error.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.