The only certainty in the congressional redistricting case is that Republicans lose if they can’t persuade a three-judge panel to grant a preliminary injunction, said Bruce Ledewitz, a Duquesne University law professor. The federal judges are scheduled to hear arguments Friday in Harrisburg. A preliminary injunction stops one side from taking an action while the other pursues its legal challenge. In this case, Republicans want to bar the administration of Gov. Tom Wolf from implementing a state Supreme Court ruling that overturned a 2011 congressional map for Pennsylvania drawn by GOP lawmakers. Since there’s little debate that map — considered one of the country’s most gerrymandered — is unconstitutional, the only question seems to be whether it will be used one last time for the 2018 elections, Ledewitz said.
The filing period already has started for the May 15 primary election, so only a quick resolution will help Republicans, he said.
“A delay in this case decides it, as a practical matter …,” he said. “If they don’t get the injunction, they lose.
Filed by two Republican state senators and eight GOP congressmen representing Pennsylvania, the federal lawsuit seeks to throw out the congressional district map drawn by the Democratic majority on the state Supreme Court. The same majority ruled that the existing map, drawn by the General Assembly, violates the state constitution’s guarantee of equal representation. The court gave lawmakers 24 days to draft a new map. When Wolf rejected the map, those justices created their own.