The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ordered a redrawing of all 18 of the state's congressional districts for 2018 after finding gerrymandering that "plainly and palpably" benefited Republicans. "It's likely to cost the GOP a seat and undermine their position in others," wrote The New York Times' Nate Cohn.
The state legislature, which is Republican-controlled, has until Feb. 9 to approve a replacement map, which must also be approved by the Democratic-majority court and Democratic governor, The Associated Press writes. "Otherwise, the justices say they will adopt a plan in an effort to keep the May 15 primary election on track."
Most fair maps would make PA-15, PA-6 and PA-7 far more winnable for Dems. PA-8 a little more, but the difference is pretty small. Puts a seat in the Pittsburgh suburbs in reach too. OTOH, PA-16 would become unwinnable and PA-11 likely won't get better for Dems.
— Robert Wheel LLC (@BobbyBigWheel) January 22, 2018
PA Supreme Court just held PA's congressional districts violate PA constitution and ordered a new map for 2018 pic.twitter.com/e5b0i4E6OV
— SalenaZito (@SalenaZito) January 22, 2018
"Not only does a new, fair Pennsylvania map likely create 4-5 Dem leaning districts, it disrupts constituencies of Rep incumbents, erasing their incumbency advantage and making them more vulnerable in a Dem wave election," tweeted Michael McDonald, a University of Florida professor specializing in American elections. Although the Supreme Court could theoretically intervene, many experts don't see it as likely: "This is a state court decision that rests on state, not federal, law," added McDonald. Jeva Lange