Supreme Court Spikes Pennsylvania GOP’s Final Hopes Over New Map

Court-drawn map to take effect for 2018 midterms

The United States Supreme Court building in Washington, DC on December 1, 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court on Monday denied an appeal by Pennsylvania Republican lawmakers to block a new congressional map ahead of this year’s midterm elections.

The decision to turn down the application for stay killed the GOP’s final hope to block the lines drawn by the Pennsylvania state Supreme Court after it ruled the Republican-controlled General Assembly’s 2011 map represented an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. 

The new court-drawn map, in effect for the fall, puts a handful of previously safe Republican districts in play for the Democrats.

The Supreme Court issued its decision a day before the filing deadline for congressional candidates in the state.

Earlier in the day, a federal district court in Pennsylvania also declined the Republicans’ long-shot bid to block the new congressional map.

Eight Republican House members from the Pennsylvania delegation joined GOP state lawmakers as plaintiffs in that lawsuit, which a three-judge panel dismissed.

The list of plaintiffs included 2018 Senate candidate Lou Barletta and Rep. Keith Rothfus, whose seat is now in jeopardy under the new map. Democrat Conor Lamb, the apparent winner in the 18th District special election last week, is set to run against Rothfus in the fall. 

Todd Ruger and Bridget Bowman contributed to this report.

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