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The Latest: Court declines to immediately halt district map

February 24, 2018

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Latest on Republican efforts to halt imposition of a new congressional district map in Pennsylvania (all times local):

5:50 p.m.

Federal judges are turning down a request by Pennsylvania Republican congressmen to immediately throw out a district map, but are also saying they hope to resolve the legal challenge quickly.

A three-judge panel declined Friday to temporarily hold up implementation of the map but laid out a schedule for the parties to elaborate on their legal positions, including a March 9 hearing.

Eight incumbent members of Congress and two GOP state senators contend the state Supreme Court overstepped its authority in drawing new lines and didn’t give state legislators sufficient time to come up with an alternative.

The new map substantially overhauls a GOP-drawn one that has helped produce a predominantly Republican delegation.

Congressional candidates in Pennsylvania are scheduled to start collecting signatures Tuesday to get their names on the primary ballot.

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4:40 p.m.

Republican leaders in the Pennsylvania Legislature are asking the state’s highest court to put on hold its order establishing new congressional district lines, a precursor to getting the same request considered by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The leaders filed a request Thursday seeking to halt orders throwing out a 2011 Republican-crafted map and establishing a new 18-district map.

They filed a similar request to the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, arguing the Pennsylvania court usurped legislative authority.

The state court is giving Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and other parties until noon Monday to weigh in.

Pennsylvania congressional candidates are scheduled to start collecting signatures Tuesday to get on the primary ballot.

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12:40 p.m.

Three Republican-appointed federal judges will consider a request by eight GOP congressmen in Pennsylvania to halt the use of a new congressional district map in this year’s elections.

A federal judge Friday set up the panel under a federal law governing constitutional challenges to congressional reapportionment.

The panel members are Judge Christopher Conner , a Pennsylvania-based district judge; Judge Jerome Simandle , a senior district judge from New Jersey; and Judge Kent Jordan, a circuit judge who was formerly a district judge in Delaware.

Conner and Jordan were chosen for the federal bench by President George W. Bush, while Simandle was nominated by President George H.W. Bush.

The lawsuit against state elections officials seeks an injunction against the map produced Monday by the Democratic majority on the state Supreme Court.

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