Marino discounts impact of new map


In an emergency application, Pennsylvania House Speaker Michael Turzai (R) and Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati (R) asked the Supreme Court to prevent the new map from going into effect.

Most of the counties now represented by Marino would land in a newly-drawn 12th Congressional District, featuring less of the northeastern and south-central portions of the state, but more in the north-central region. Being the highest court in the land, the Supreme Court more often than not hears appeals on decisions from lower courts, and their decisions have lasting effects on USA policy.

As for the partisan impact, according to Aaron Bycoffe, writing for, the new map, while more favorable to Democrats than the old map, stops short of committing the reverse offense of being a "Democratic gerrymander". "They wanted to see what the Pennsylvania Supreme Court actually did", said Turzai.

A Democratic state senator said some things in the congressional redistricting map issued Monday by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court "don't make sense".

For a comparison of the current district boundaries and those drawn by the court for the 2018 elections, go here. It broke Butler County into three districts- the 15, 16 and 17.

Statehouse Republicans say the court is usurping the power of the legislative and executive branches, a situation that essentially creates a "constitutional crisis". There are Supreme Court precedents from the past that seem to lean both ways on that question. And Luzerne County is split to provide more Democrats in the 8th Congressional District, where the incumbent would be Democrat Matt Cartwright, Toomey said. Right now, they're elected by voters in "partisan elections".

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The new map also makes it harder for Republicans to keep the Lehigh Valley district of Charlie Dent, a popular moderate who isn't seeking re-election.

She also tweeted: "Pennsylvania has always been one of the most gerrymandered states in the nation".

And picking up five seats in Pennsylvania would be a substantial gain for Democrats as they seek the 24 seats they need nationally to retake control of the U.S. House.

Republicans now enjoy a 13 to 5 advantage in House seats in Pennsylvania, though the state is evenly divided politically. The New York Times' Nate Cohn tweeted that "Democrats get everything they want", while Cook Political Report's Dave Wasserman labeled it "Democrats' dream come true". In January, the court said the congressional map in place since 2011, drawn by Republicans, so severely benefited the GOP that it violated the state's constitution. The state Supreme Court's map seems to be an amalgamation of the other five versions. Then, after Pennsylvania's Republican legislative leaders and Democratic governor were unable to agree on a new map, the court stepped in and drew one of its own with the help of an independent redistricting expert from Stanford University.

The court's opinion establishing its map plan preemptively defended their move.