It’s official: The state legislature will not pass a new congressional map before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Friday deadline. But the Republican leaders who control both chambers weren’t ready Thursday to cede the redrawing of districts to the state’s highest court, which has a Democratic majority. Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R., Jefferson) and House Speaker Mike Turzai (R., Allegheny) were considering submitting a draft map to the governor Friday, staffers said. Then they could call lawmakers back in the coming days to vote on that map, or a different one. “We’re blazing new ground here, and we’re trying to meet as many markers as we possibly can,” said Drew Crompton, chief of staff to Scarnati and the Senate’s top lawyer. “I don’t sit here and say this is the perfect solution, but we’re trying to do the best we can.”
Whether that plan works could boil down to the interpretation of a key word in the court’s order — and whether justices believe the lawmakers are acting in good faith.
In an order issued Jan. 22, the state Supreme Court declared the current map of districts unconstitutional, and said that if the General Assembly wants to create a map for consideration “it shall submit such plan for consideration by the Governor on or before” Friday.