The Latest: Lawsuit over congressional map called baseless
Feb. 23, 2018
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Latest on Republican challenges to Pennsylvania's congressional map (all times local):
The Philadelphia-based Public Interest Law Center says Republicans are making another baseless attempt in federal court to reinstate Pennsylvania's congressional districts thrown out last month as unconstitutionally gerrymandered.
The law center on Thursday sought to intervene in a federal court lawsuit filed by Republican congressmen and state senators from Pennsylvania.
The Republicans' lawsuit asks federal judges to prevent the use of a court-ordered map of congressional districts in this year's elections. It could help Democrats win several U.S. House seats.
Republicans contend the state Supreme Court didn't have the authority to invalidate the 6-year-old map and didn't give lawmakers enough time to develop one to replace it. The law center helped challenge the district map in state court.
Republican lawmakers have a separate legal challenge before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Eight Republican congressmen from Pennsylvania want a federal court to prevent the use of a court-ordered district map in this year's elections.
A federal lawsuit filed Thursday argues the state Supreme Court didn't have the authority to order a new map it put in place Monday.
The plaintiffs are suing two top elections officials under Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.
They also argue the state justices didn't give lawmakers enough time to develop a map to replace the one declared unconstitutional last month.
A separate legal challenge by senior legislative Republican leaders is pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.
The 2011 map, drawn up by Republicans, is widely considered among the nation's most gerrymandered.
Democrats hope the new map will help them retake majority control of the U.S. House.
A request by Republican leaders in the Pennsylvania Legislature to stop a new congressional map from being implemented is now in the hands of the nation's highest court.
The filing made late Wednesday asks Justice Samuel Alito to intervene, saying the state Supreme Court overstepped its authority in imposing a new map.
More litigation may follow, as Republicans say they're considering a separate legal challenge in federal court in Harrisburg.
The state Supreme Court threw out a Republican-crafted map last month, saying the 2011 plan violates the state constitution's guarantee of free and equal elections.
The new map announced Monday is widely viewed as giving Democrats an edge as they seek to recapture enough U.S. House seats to reclaim the majority.