U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Redistricting Appeals in North Carolina, Pennsylvania

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected appeals from Republicans in North Carolina and Pennsylvania, an attempt to prevent the states’ redistricting maps.

GOP leaders in both states asked the court for a temporary stay of the two maps in order to block them from being fully enacted. Because the ruling is not on the constitutionality of the maps, litigation can continue while the boundaries are in place.

The justices do not have to explain their reasoning for declining the appeal; however, in the North Carolina case, Justice Brett Kavanaugh issues a concurring opinion.

In North Carolina, the state Supreme Court struck down boundaries drawn by Republicans, arguing they were illegally gerrymandered and violated the state constitution.

“In their emergency application, however, the applicants are asking this Court for extraordinary interim relief — namely, an order from this Court requiring North Carolina to change its existing congressional election districts for the upcoming 2022 primary and general elections. But this Court has repeatedly ruled that federal courts ordinarily should not alter state election laws in the period close to an election.” he wrote.

An explanation was not provided in the Pennsylvania case, where the state’s Supreme Court selected the maps after Governor Tom Wolf vetoed the GOP proposal.

Republicans argue the new maps favor Democrats because it forces GOP incumbents to campaign against each other.

Pennsylvania House Speaker Bryan Cutler (R-Quarryville) and Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R-Bellefonte) blasted the state Supreme Court’s selection of the map, known as the Carter Plan.

“The process for creating district lines is clearly defined, and even if the governor refused to follow the process, it does not allow the courts to just pick and choose when or when not to follow the law,” the duo said in a joint statement. “Sadly, candidates and voters must now submit to a unilateral court that sees itself above every person in our Commonwealth.”

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Cooper Moran is a reporter for The Pennsylvania Daily Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]



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