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Supreme Court Rejects GOP Gerrymandering, Boosting Democrats' Midterm Chances

By       Message Eric Boehlert       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   1 comment

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Democrats in Pennsylvania got more good news ahead of the midterm elections on Monday, when the U.S. Supreme Court let stand the state Supreme Court's recent ruling that Pennsylvania's congressional districts must be immediately redrawn in a fairer manner.

Last month, Pennsylvania's top court ruled that the congressional map drawn by the Republican-controlled legislature in 2011 "clearly, plainly and palpably violates" the commonwealth's Constitution, and demanded a quick redrawing of the lines so that 2018 elections could be held using more common-sense looking districts.

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The GOP went to court, arguing there was no rush and that the drawing should be delayed until after the 2018 cycle.

But on Monday, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, whose jurisdiction for emergency requests includes Pennsylvania, denied the request, without comment.

Pennsylvania is shaping up to be among the key battleground states as Republicans desperately try to hang onto their majority in the House.

Democrats need to flip 24 seats to gain control of the House. According to the Cook Political Report, of the 62 Republican-held districts currently deemed to be "competitive" in November, 25 are located in California, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

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And that's why for Republicans, Monday's ruling couldn't have come at a worse time, and it couldn't have come in a more vulnerable state.

Election experts predict that when the news districts are redrawn this spring and the GOP's extreme gerrymandering blueprint gets torn up, Democrats could pick up between one and six seats in the state come November.

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Eric Boehlert is the author of Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush (Free Press, 2006). He worked for five years as a senior writer for, where he wrote extensively about media and politics. Prior to that, he worked as a (more...)

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