With Tuesday’s deadline for filing nominating petitions imminent, prospective candidates waiting for courts to take action on Pennsylvania’s radically reconfigured congressional map learned Friday that the wait will continue. By day’s end Friday, neither the U.S. Supreme Court nor the U.S. District Court here had decided whether to grant requests from Republican lawmakers who want them to overturn the new congressional map put in place by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which ruled that lines drawn in 2011 represented an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander favoring Republicans. Members of both parties and outside experts appeared to be at a loss to explain the courts’ inaction. The delay, at least on the U.S. Supreme Court side, is “quite unusual,” said Richard L. Hasen, a law and political science professor at the University of California, Irvine.
Candidates have until 5 p.m. Tuesday to file paperwork with at least 1,000 signatures supporting their runs for office in the May 15 primary. The paperwork must be precise and include the specific districts the candidates are seeking to represent.
As of Friday evening, 12 candidates had filed petitions — nine Republicans and three Democrats — and a flurry of other filings is expected early next week.
Republicans say the lack of a decision this close to the deadline leaves candidates in limbo and exacerbates an already chaotic situation.