Democrats: No basis for GOP to sue over new Pa. map

Written by The Associated Press | Feb 21, 2018 5:04 AM

(Undated) -- Lawyers for the Democratic voters who successfully challenged Pennsylvania's congressional districts as unconstitutionally gerrymandered say Republicans have no legal or factual basis to sue over new court-ordered districts.

The Philadelphia-based Public Interest Law Center said in a statement that Republican lawmakers should stop holding onto the gerrymandered districts they drew in 2011.

Federal and state Republican Party officials are expected to sue to contest a Pennsylvania court's redrawing of the state's 18 congressional districts.

The National Republican Congressional Committee said the lawsuit could be filed as early as today. Tuesday's statement says the lawsuit "will highlight the state supreme court's rushed decision that created chaos, confusion and unnecessary expense."

Republicans in Pennsylvania previously said they'd sue to block the court's map and argue that legislatures and governors, not courts, have the constitutional responsibility to draw congressional maps.

They'll try to block new districts drawn by Pennsylvania's Democratic-majority Supreme Court from taking effect in the May primary election.

The Public Interest Law Center's lawyers defend the court's map as non-partisan, with districts that are more compact and competitive.

The court-imposed congressional map overhauls a Republican-drawn map widely viewed as among the nation's most gerrymandered.

It also gives Democrats a better shot at winning a couple more seats as the party tries to wrest control of the U.S. House.

President Donald Trump is encouraging Pennsylvania Republicans to challenge a new court-imposed congressional map all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary.

Trump tweeted Tuesday that Republicans' map "was correct! Don't let the Dems take elections away from you so that they can raise taxes & waste money!"

The Democratic-majority Pennsylvania Supreme Court voted 4-3 on Monday to impose a new map for the state's congressional districts, effective for the May 15 primary.

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