Voter Suppression

Supreme Court Denies GOP Gerrymander Appeal

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Good news -- the United States Supreme Court as rejected an appeal filed by Pennsylvania Republicans who asked the court to block a state Supreme Court decision striking down their gerrymandered congressional map.

From the Associated Press:

Justice Samuel Alito on Monday rejected emergency appeals from Republican legislative leaders and voters to block an order from the state Supreme Court to devise new congressional districts. The state high court ruled last month that the 18 districts violated Pennsylvania’s constitution because they unfairly benefited Republicans.

The state court gave lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf three weeks to submit a replacement plan, after which the state justices might draw up their own map.

While the Supreme Court does not typically intervene in state court rulings of this nature, there was an understandable level of anxiety surrounding the case and it was difficult to say with any certainty that the highest court wouldn't intervene.

We won't know the full implications this ruling could have on future cases until we know exactly which justices dissented but it is very interesting that Justice Alito rejected the appeal. That tells us state lawmakers couldn't even persuade one of the most conservative justices.

  • muselet

    Wow. Even Samuel Alito couldn’t find a pretext for intervening in a matter decided strictly on the basis of state law.

    I’m amazed.

    (Of course, the Pennsylvania Rs will appeal to the full court and at least four of the Supremes will vote to hear the appeal, at which point all bets are off. Still, the current state of affairs will be nice while it lasts.)


    • JMAshby

      I don’t think that’s an option. They only have 10 days before the court bypasses the legislature and draws its own maps.

      • muselet

        I certainly hope you’re right.

        However, the Rs are very good at making arguments that conservative judges find compelling. I can imagine the Supreme Court taking this case, declaring the original maps constitutionally sound, and ordering new elections in Pennsylvania using the Rs’ maps in the interests of *ahem* fairness.

        Or am I being excessively cynical?


        • Aynwrong

          I don’t think you’re being even a little cynical.

          • muselet

            It’s hard to tell, sometimes.


          • Holly

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      • That’s okay, they have a new plan: impeaching the PA supreme court. That’s now what they’re trying to do.

        Anti-American sons of bitches.

        • ninjaf

          They must hold on to power at any cost, even if it means the death of our democracy/republic.

  • Crossing fingers that this means big things . . .