congressional districts

PA Lawmakers Advance Redistricting Reforms As June Deadline Looms

May 23, 2018
Katie Meyer / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania lawmakers have advanced a bill that would change the state’s constitution to put its congressional district map in the hands of a citizen commission, one whose 11 members would be chosen by elected officials.

Mary Wilson / WITF

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati is throwing his weight behind a few measures that have, of late, been more commonly championed by Democrats.

The top Republican official, of Cameron County, said in a wide-ranging speech Monday that he wants to see the redistricting process overhauled, and also switch the commonwealth to open primaries.

Scarnati made it clear, his anger over the state Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate and redraw Pennsylvania’s congressional map hasn’t abated.

Live Blog: Primary Day 2018

May 15, 2018
90.5 WESA

Check in throughout the day for 90.5 WESA's continuous coverage of the Primary Election. 

Matt Rourke / AP

In recent weeks, proponents of overhauling Pennsylvania’s redistricting process with an independent citizens’ commission have been frustrated as their bills have been repeatedly gutted by the Republican majority in a prominent state House committee.

But now, those advocates may be getting an unexpected new ally in House GOP Leader Dave Reed, who told reporters Tuesday, this is an issue he wants to address before he departs the legislature at the end of this year.  

Currently, congressional redistricting is done by the legislature, and the governor signs off on it.

Matt Rourke / AP

For the second time this month, a state House panel has stripped a bill that would have established an independent redistricting commission made up of citizens, and replaced it with language that gives the legislature even more power over the process.

Matt Rourke / AP

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati may not have to pay more than $29,000 out of pocket for legal fees in a redistricting case.

At least, not yet.

A federal judge has put a hold on the order he made after deeming the GOP lawmaker’s actions in the case frivolous.

The case in question was initially brought to the Commonwealth Court last summer by the League of Women Voters, who argued the state congressional map was unconstitutionally gerrymandered.

Matt Rourke / AP

Lawyers for Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati have filed an appeal to a federal court decision that the Republican must personally pay more than $29,000 for legal fees in a high-profile redistricting case.

The GOP lawmaker officially has 14 days to pay—but his chief counsel said he has no intention of doing so.

The case in question was initially brought to the Commonwealth Court last summer by the League of Women Voters, who argued the state congressional map was unconstitutionally gerrymandered.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Democrat Conor Lamb’s victory over Republican Rick Saccone in last month’s special congressional election was seen as a positive sign for Democrats.

But it’s also a sign that in many working-class pockets of Pennsylvania, unions still hold considerable sway.

Rick Bloomingdale, president of Pennsylvania’s chapter of the AFL-CIO, said the group is working with local unions to focus on a handful of races heading into this year’s midterm elections.

Lamb’s new race for the 17th Congressional District under the redrawn map is at the top of the pile.

Another Key Redistricting Case Goes In Front Of High Court

Mar 26, 2018
supremecourt.gov

The Supreme Court has already heard a major case about political line-drawing that has the potential to reshape American politics. Now, before even deciding that one, the court is taking up another similar case.

Federal Judges Reject Lawsuit Over Pennsylvania District Map

Mar 19, 2018
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

A panel of federal judges on Monday dismissed a legal challenge by Republican congressmen to a district map imposed last month by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

The decision does not end litigation over the matter, but it makes it much more likely that this year's congressional elections in Pennsylvania will be conducted under district lines widely viewed as more favorable to Democrats than a 2011 map the state court threw out in January.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

As Tuesday's special election ran into the early hours of Wednesday morning, Democrat Conor Lamb declared victory — though the race remained too close to officially call and Republican Rick Saccone had not conceded.

(Left) PA Supreme Court, (Right) Office of Lt. Gov. Mike Stack

Federal judges are letting voters who successfully challenged Pennsylvania's congressional district map fight a lawsuit by eight Republican congressmen seeking to overturn the decision.

The judges granted a request Thursday by the 18 voters to join the lawsuit as defendants, along with two senior state elections officials under Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.

The decision came during a session to sort out issues ahead of a hearing next week.

Matt Rourke / AP

Federal judges are letting voters who successfully challenged Pennsylvania's congressional district map fight a lawsuit by eight Republican congressmen seeking to overturn the decision.

GOP Congressmen Hit Ground In Districts They Hope To Block

Feb 28, 2018
Jacqueline Martin / AP

Republican congressmen who are suing to block Pennsylvania's court-ordered U.S. House district boundaries nonetheless began circulating petitions in those new districts Tuesday, as they hope and wait for a federal court to intervene.

Tuesday was the first day for candidates to collect signatures to get on May 15 primary ballots in the state's 18 districts, all of which were redrawn in a new map imposed by the state Supreme Court last week.

Matt Rourke / AP

Over the last several months, Pennsylvania’s House and Senate have spent over $3.5 million on congressional redistricting.  

New Congressional Districts In Philly Suburbs Could Help Democrats Win In DC

Feb 27, 2018
Dan Gleiter / Pennlive.com

Pennsylvania’s new court-ordered congressional map has thrust the commonwealth into the national spotlight, and the readjusted political calculus in the Philadelphia suburbs is a big reason why.

Petition Day Arrives With Congressional Boundaries In Doubt

Feb 27, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

The first day for congressional candidates in Pennsylvania to circulate petitions will arrive amid legal challenges to week-old court-ordered boundaries of the state's 18 U.S. House districts.

Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania's governor and elections officials want the state's highest court to stand by its ruling establishing new congressional districts.

Federal Judges To Hear Pennsylvania District Map Challenge

Feb 23, 2018
Carolyn Kaster / AP

*Updated
A request by eight GOP congressmen in Pennsylvania to halt the use of a new congressional district map in this year's elections was placed in the hands of three Republican-appointed federal judges Friday.

Eight Pennsylvania GOP Congressmen File Challenge To District Map

Feb 22, 2018
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

*UPDATED

Pennsylvania's highest court overstepped its authority in drawing new congressional district lines and did not give state lawmakers enough time to produce a map of their own, eight Republican congressmen said in a lawsuit filed Thursday.

Matt Rourke / AP

 A new court-ordered map of congressional districts in Pennsylvania is spurring more would-be candidates to consider whether — and where — to run.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Republicans are attempting to circumvent the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the state’s congressional maps as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander in favor of Republicans.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

In a rare visit to Harrisburg, Republican US Senator Pat Toomey made clear his strong opposition to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to redraw the state’s congressional maps.

GOP Leaders To Seek Halt To Pennsylvania Congressional Map

Feb 21, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

Republican leaders of the Pennsylvania Legislature said Wednesday they will soon 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 said that later Wednesday he and his Senate counterpart will request an emergency stay of what he called a "completely partisan, ultimate gerrymander."

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

Political groups around Pennsylvania are working to figure out what the state Supreme Court’s new congressional map will mean for their agendas.

Several organizations that have backed efforts to redraw the districts say they are concerned that the new plan may dilute votes from black communities.

When drawing congressional maps, one key standard authors have to meet comes from the Voting Rights Act.

Congressional Map Raises Democrats’ Hopes, Legal Test Ahead

Feb 20, 2018
(Left) PA Supreme Court, (Right) Office of Lt. Gov. Mike Stack

The map of congressional districts imposed by Pennsylvania's high court for the state's 2018 elections will set off a new legal battle, reconfigure perhaps dozens of campaigns and give Democrats a boost in their mission to wrest control of the U.S. House.

The map of Pennsylvania's 18 congressional districts is to be in effect for the May 15 primary and substantially overhauls a Republican-drawn congressional map widely viewed as among the nation's most gerrymandered.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court

Republicans say they'll go to federal court this week to try to block new court-ordered boundaries of Pennsylvania's congressional districts from remaining in effect for 2018's elections.

Pennsylvania Awaits First Look At Court's Congressional Map

Feb 19, 2018
Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Pennsylvania's high court is on the cusp Monday of imposing a new congressional district map to take effect for the state's 2018 elections, all but ensuring that Democratic prospects will improve in several seats and boosting the party's quest to capture control of the U.S. House.

Monday is the state Supreme Court's self-imposed deadline to unveil new district boundaries, replacing the 6-year-old boundaries the court struck down in a gerrymandering lawsuit last month.

New Maps Could Improve Democrats' Chances In Pennsylvania

Feb 16, 2018
Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

 *Updated

 

 

Democrats' chances at picking up congressional seats in Pennsylvania likely would improve under new models of district boundaries drawn to replace the Republican-drawn boundaries thrown out in a high-stakes gerrymandering court case, independent analysts said Friday.

Matt Rourke / AP

Thursday is deadline day in Pennsylvania's high-stakes gerrymandering case for Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and others to submit maps of new congressional district boundaries that they want the state Supreme Court to adopt for this year's election.

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