GOP leaders defend map to Pennsylvania governor

Pennsylvania Republican wants to impeach judges in gerrymandering case

BRACK: Put an end to gerrymandering

The battle moving to social media with House Speaker Mike Turzai asking when the governor and Democrats will release their maps to the public.

While lawmakers followed the Supreme Court mandate to make districts more compact and mindful of municipal and county borders, some say the map does not adequately level the political playing field.

Absent an agreement between Wolf and the Republican-controlled legislature, the court plans to draw new lines itself by Monday, with help from an independent redistricting expert. It was expected that they would offer their endorsement in the 7th District Congressional race. "There are no voters living in Lake Erie, and we are not able to go into Ohio, New York or Toronto with this exercise". And maybe the redrawn map is not the ideal Congressional district map for Pennsylvania. In Lawrence County, Keith Rothfus in the 12th District would pick up Kelly's area. The court wanted compact districts that share common borders, have roughly equal populations and do not split up counties, cities, boroughs or townships "except where necessary to ensure equality of population". Wolf said he finds that claim "dubious at best". But because of the way district lines were carved, the black voting percentage was much lower - about 18 percent.

Turzai and Scarnati have stated that they may challenge a court-drawn map or pass a new one to override it. Democrats have already said the GOP's court-ordered map submitted late Friday is still too partisan.

He bolstered his announcement with an analysis from a math professor who said the Republican proposal was heavily skewed to favor the GOP.

Wolf hired Tufts University mathematics professor Moon Duchin to judge the Republican plan and she gave it a failing grade.

The court's five Democrats voted to strike down the current map but two Republican judges opposed the decision. The new map is unlikely to change that. And if it comes to the Supreme Court to decide the final revisions, Democrats own a 5-2 majority on that board.

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The rebuke from Republicans was swift.

"Clearly, he doesn't want a legislative process".

"Montgomery County - a big dog, a wealthy, important county in Pennsylvania - has been gerrymandered, split, cracked, all the verbiage you can think of, and we're not getting the representation we need", he said.

The filing in Benisek v. Lamone came roughly a week after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's ruling, a decision that legal experts say was long overdue.

Top Senate GOP lawyer Drew Crompton maintained that the court forced Republicans to cut corners, because justices didn't issue their full opinion until three days before the maps were due.

J.J. Abbott, spokesman for Wolf, said the administration believes the governor's letter provided enough clarity for Republican lawmakers to begin revising the map. "There is no standard called "competitive"...you should not be drawing a map based on "competitiveness".

"We are happy to put this through a legislative process", Corman said.

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