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The Latest: Governor focusing on court order for new map

February 22, 2018

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

8:10 p.m.

Pennsylvania Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf says he’s not focusing on Republican legislative leaders’ request that the U.S. Supreme Court block a new state congressional district map viewed as favorable to Democrats.

The Republican presiding officers of the state House and the state Senate on Wednesday electronically filed an emergency request to stay a state Supreme Court order that redrew Pennsylvania’s 18 congressional districts.

A spokesman for the Democratic governor says he’s focused on making sure his Department of State is complying with the state court’s order by updating its systems and helping candidates, county election officials and voters prepare for the primary election.

Democrats hope the new map will help them reclaim control of the U.S. House.

The Republicans’ challenge adds uncertainty as candidates prepare to circulate nominating petitions to get their names on the May primary ballot.

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7:20 p.m.

Pennsylvania’s two highest-ranking Republican legislative leaders are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to block a new congressional district map viewed as likely to help Democrats.

The presiding officers of the House and the Senate on Wednesday electronically filed an emergency request to stay a state Supreme Court order issued Monday that redrew boundaries of Pennsylvania’s 18 congressional districts. The request to Justice Samuel Alito (ahl-EE’-toh) says the state Supreme Court usurped legislative authority and calls the decision unprecedented.

Democrats are hopeful the new map will be more favorable to their candidates and may help them reclaim majority control of the U.S. House this year.

Republican leaders say a separate action in federal court in Harrisburg is also possible this week.

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10:20 a.m.

Republican leaders of the Pennsylvania Legislature say they’re about to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the imposition of new congressional district maps , two days after they were announced by the state’s highest court.

House Speaker Mike Turzai says he and his Senate counterpart will request an emergency stay Wednesday of what he called a “completely partisan, ultimate gerrymander.”

The challenge adds uncertainty as candidates are preparing to circulate nominating petitions to get their names on the May primary ballot.

The Democratic majority on the state Supreme Court in January threw out a 2011 congressional district map that had been drafted by Republicans, saying it violated the state constitution’s guarantee of free and equal elections.

Turzai says a separate action in federal court in Harrisburg is also possible.

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