Justice throw out Pennsylvania's congressional districting map


Critics say Pennsylvania's Congressional district map is one of the most gerrymandered in the country.

In a 4-3 decision announced Monday, the state Supreme Court found the Congressional Redistricting Act of 2011 "clearly, plainly and palpably violates" the state constitution.

The court said the gerrymandered map violates the state's constitution and it ordered that a replacement be drawn up by next month.

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The League of Women Voters had challenged the district map in court, arguing that the state's congressional lines were "among the most extreme partisan gerrymanders in American history".

Pennsylvania now has 13 Republicans and five Democrats serving in the House.

A new map would impact the candidates running in the May 18 because those district boundaries could change.

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Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court halted a lower federal court ruling that ordered the North Carolina legislature to redraw its congressional map that was found unconstitutional.

The court banned further use of the map in elections, beginning with the May 15 primary. If these deadlines are not met, "this Court shall proceed expeditiously to adopt a plan based on the evidentiary record developed in the Commonwealth Court".

That new map, barring some intervening stay by another court, would be used for this spring's primary election. Republicans are likely to appeal and even try to push the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court, but it's unclear if the nation's top court would hold any jurisdiction.

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Democrats quickly took to Twitter to celebrate the victory.