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Pa. Redistricting Ruling Upheld

April 13, 2002

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) _ The three-judge federal panel that overturned Pennsylvania’s congressional redistricting plan refused to suspend its order Friday, and Republicans vowed to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

GOP officials argue that unless a stay is granted, the state’s May 21 primary election will have to be postponed. Democrats predicted a split primary was more likely _ with congressional elections delayed and balloting for other offices, including governor, taking place as scheduled.

The judicial panel urged Republicans who control the assembly to submit an alternate redistricting plan, such as one already crafted by House GOP leaders and expected to be voted on Monday.

The panel ruled 2-1 Monday that the GOP-drawn map was unconstitutional because new districts varied in population _ although by only up to 19 people. The court said that was too wide a deviation since a plan with little or no population difference among districts was possible.

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