Supreme Court Won’t Save Pennsylvania’s GOP-Friendly Gerrymander

A new political map, more favorable to Democrats, will remain in place for the 2018 midterms.

The new congressional map enacted by the Pennsylvania state supreme court.Pennsylvania Supreme Court/www.pacourts.us

The Supreme Court will not intervene in the legal battle over Pennsylvania’s congressional map, allowing the 2018 midterms to take place using a new map more favorable to Democrats. The state supreme court put the new map in place last month after finding that the old one violated the state constitution because it was excessively gerrymandered in favor of Republicans.

Last month, the GOP leaders of the Pennsylvania legislature appealed the case to the US Supreme Court in a last-ditch effort to get the new map thrown out. The justices waited nearly a month to announce whether they would weigh in on the case, causing election law experts to wonder if they might indeed take the case. But on Monday, the court released a one-sentence order stating that the Republicans’ appeal to the court had been denied.

The Supreme Court was the final court to weigh in on the matter. A federal district court on Monday also declined to take up the case.

The old map strongly favored Republicans, who consistently won 13 of the state’s 18 congressional seats in a state that is divided almost evenly. The new map will give Democrats more opportunities to win seats in November and could affect who controls the House of Representatives next year.