Governor focusing on court order for new map

He pointed to three examples of what he described as map design decisions made from "blatant political motivations".

Chris Rieger of Cranberry Township said Monday that he still plans to run in the 16th District, even though the new map may have placed his residence inside the 17th District. The oddly shaped boundaries - including the famous "Goofy kicking Donald Duck" 7th District - seem to have been, for the most part, cleaned up as much as possible.

Gone are the awkward tentacles and interweaving of districts in the Philadelphia suburbs. U.S. Rep Bob Brady's 1st Congressional District, which stretched from portions of South Philly to portions of Delaware County under the previous map, is majority-minority, but Brady is white.

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. It could help Democrats win several U.S. House seats. That could result in "wasted" votes and also reduce minority power in neighboring districts.

Elections do matter, and the election that may have mattered the most here is the 2015 statewide judicial election that handed the state Supreme Court to the Democrats 5-2.

To understand why, you have to know a few things about Pennsylvania. This has destroyed any incumbency advantage that Congressman Costello may have once held and the Congressman's District now contains a majority of voters from the Democratic Party, where it once was a majority Republican district.

In this February 8, 2018, photo, Pennsylvania State Rep. Rick Saccone, the Republican candidate for the March 13 special election in Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District, talks about his campaign at his headquarters in Canonsburg, Pa.

The new map has five seats that we would categorize as "usually Democratic" over the long term, compared with four under the current map. So yeah, "pushed", as in "pushed back" to give Democratic voters a modicum of fairness. It did not anticipate that the court would get its hands on the congressional map so soon.

It was randomly assigned to Christopher Conner, the Chief Judge of the federal court in the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Friedenberg confirmed that news with The Era on Tuesday, saying he could now be facing U.S. Rep. Tom Marino, R-Lycoming County, in the newly drawn 12th District, which stretches from State College down to around Lewistown and up by Sayre. The organization's goal is to take partisan politics out of redistricting.

[T] he Pennsylvania Supreme Court provided an inadequate remedial opportunity to the General Assembly, thus ensuring a court drawn map. Some districts, however, have attempted to circumvent these court decisions. The only plausible argument I see is that the maps violate the Elections Clause of the Constitution, which vests in the state legislature the power to choose rules for congressional elections (unless Congress acts to preempt them).

The move comes a day after Pennsylvania Republicans filed a new emergency appeal at the U.S. Supreme Court. But the case was decided on state law, which will make the federal courts reluctant to intervene.

Gerrymandered district lines disrespect the will of the voters, but so does constantly shifting district lines.

Let us refresh your memories about the 2011 gerrymandered map.

  • Leroy Wright