The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rebuffed a bid by Republican legislators in Pennsylvania to reinstate a congressional district map struck down by that state’s top court as unlawfully biased in favor of Republicans.
A new state electoral map, devised by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court after it invalidated the Republican-drawn districts in January, is seen as giving Democrats a better shot at gaining seats in the U.S. House of Representatives in the Nov. 6 congressional elections in which President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans are seeking to retain control of Congress.
The case involves a practice called partisan gerrymandering in which electoral maps are drafted in a manner that helps one party tighten its grip on power by undermining the clout of voters that tend to favor the other party. The high court in June failed to determine whether partisan gerrymandering violates the U.S. Constitution after hearing high-profile cases from Wisconsin and Maryland.
The justices on Monday rejected the Republican appeal of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling throwing out the previous Republican-drawn map because it violated the state constitution’s requirement that elections be “free and equal” by marginalizing Democratic voters.
The high court previously rejected two Republican requests to block the new district boundaries that the state high court issued to replace the old map, which had been in effect since 2011. Republicans have held 13 of the state’s 18 U.S. House seats since 2011 despite Pennsylvania being a closely divided bellwether state.
A group of 18 Democratic voters sued in Pennsylvania last year to challenge the Republican-drawn maps. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down the 2011 map and later adopted the new map in time for use during the party nominating contests in May.
The state’s Republican legislative leaders urged the justices to intervene and overturn the ruling by the state court, which they accused of usurping the legislature’s authority over redistricting. The Democratic voter challengers told the justices it is long-settled law that the U.S. Supreme Court cannot review a state court’s interpretation of state law.
State and federal legislative district boundaries are reconfigured after the U.S. government conducts a census every decade. Partisan gerrymandering has been used for two centuries but has become more extreme with the use of computer programs to maximize its effects in a way that critics have said warps democracy.
The Supreme Court in the past has disallowed gerrymandering intended to discriminate against racial minorities but has not curbed partisan gerrymandering.
Reporting by Andrew Chung; Editing by Will Dunham
Vehicles being used as weapons against protesters is ‘the new normal in 2020’: CNN
CNN's Don Lemon on Friday evening devoted a segment to the rash of incidents in which people have driven through Black Lives Matter protesters in the same manner that killed Heather Heyer at the fatal 2017 "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
"Vehicles used as weapons," Don Lemon began. "You heard me right, vehicles are being used as weapons against Americans taking to the streets in Black Lives Matter protests in cities across this country."
CNN correspondent Evan McMorris-Santoro reported shocking scenes captured on camera of vehicles running down protesters are "common now."
Trump tells supporters he won’t be ‘stupid’ enough for peaceful transition of power if he loses
President Donald Trump continued to spread debunked conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election during a Friday night campaign rally in Virginia.
Trump argued that it was impossible for him to lose the election, thus concluding he would be "stupid" to hand over power peacefully should he lose.
"We not gonna lose this, except if they cheat," Trump falsely claimed about the 2020 campaign, where he trails Joe Biden in national and battleground polling.
"That's the only way we're gonna lose is if there's, uh, mischief," he argued. "And it will have to be on a big scale."
Kamala’s family ridicules ‘idiot’ Trump for comments on Sen. Harris at Virginia rally
President Donald Trump lashed out at the Democratic Party vice presidential nominee during a Friday night campaign speech in Newport News, Virginia.
Maya Harris, the sister of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), was pleased that Trump noted the differences between the two VP choices.
Praise the Lord! https://t.co/6B4Z2qxE8a
— Maya Harris (@mayaharris_) September 26, 2020