The Lead

SCOTUS denies emergency injunction, kicks Pa. congressional map challenge back to lower court

By: - March 7, 2022 6:09 pm

Protesters from the Poor Peoples Campaign rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington D.C., on Monday, 7/19/21 (Capital-Star photo by Ariana Figueroa).

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied an emergency request from a group of Pennsylvania Republicans seeking to block the commonwealth’s new congressional map.

The one-page order issued Monday evening, instead keeps the case, whose plaintiffs include two GOP congressional hopefuls, in front of a panel of three U.S. district judges. The order did not note any dissenting justices.

Pennsylvania’s new 17-district congressional map was picked by the state Supreme Court last month after Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and the Republican-controlled General Assembly couldn’t agree on a map. Wolf vetoed that proposal in January, arguing it would deprive voters of free and fair elections.

Pa. Supreme Court court picks national Dems’ map as new congressional plan

Republicans’ federal case argues that the state court overstepped and violated the U.S. Constitution in picking a map. Instead, Pennsylvania congressional candidates should have run at-large until the Legislature and executive agreed on district lines.

GOP attorneys used similar arguments, known as the “independent state legislature claim,” in a failed attempt to invalidate Pennsylvania’s electoral votes in the 2020 election, and in other challenges to court drawn congressional maps this year.

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Stephen Caruso
Stephen Caruso

Stephen Caruso is a former senior reporter with Pennsylvania Capital-Star. Before working with the Capital-Star he covered Pennsylvania state government for The PLS Reporter.