Facing a deadline imposed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the legislature’s two top Republicans late Friday submitted to the governor a new statewide map of congressional districts to replace boundaries the justices ruled were unconstitutional. If approved, the map submitted by Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R., Jefferson) and House Speaker Mike Turzai (R., Allegheny) would result in significant changes for the areas surrounding Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The proposed map “complies fully” with the court’s order, the pair said in a joint statement. But within roughly an hour of its public release, top Democrats in the House and the Senate were urging Democratic Gov. Wolf to “reject it outright.”
“The Republican leadership in both chambers blocked this process, refused to negotiate, and have now submitted a map directly to your office that we have not even seen,” Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa (D., Allegheny) and House Minority Leader Frank Dermody (D., Allegheny) said in a joint letter to the governor released Friday evening.
A spokesman for Wolf said Friday that while the map does not appear to comply with the letter of the court’s order, the governor would be willing to review it.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s ruling last month declared the state’s congressional map had been unconstitutionally gerrymandered to favor Republicans, who control 13 of 18 U.S. House seats in Pennsylvania despite winning votes from roughly half the electorate.