WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) — In a victory for Democrats, the Supreme Court has reversed efforts by Republicans in North Carolina and Pennsylvania to block a state court-ordered congressional district plan.
In separate orders late Monday, judges are allowing maps chosen by each state’s Supreme Court to go into effect for the 2022 elections. Those maps are more suited to Democrats than those drawn by state legislatures.
In North Carolina, the map most likely will give Democrats an additional House seat in 2023.
The Pennsylvania map will also likely lead to the election of more Democrats, Republicans say, as both parties battle for control of the US House of Representatives in midterm elections in November.
The judges offered no explanation for their actions, as is common in emergency applications known as “shadow dockets”.
While the high court didn’t stop state court-ordered plans from being used in this year’s elections, four conservative justices indicated they want it to tackle the issue of state courts’ power over future federal elections. can limit it dramatically. Republicans argued that state courts do not have the authority to prejudge the decisions of Congress and legislatures regarding the conduct of presidential elections.
“We will have to resolve this question sooner or later, and the sooner we do so, the better. This case presented a good opportunity to consider the issue, but unfortunately the Court again denied this opportunity. Found,” wrote Justice Samuel Alito in disagreement with the order of the Supreme Court, which included Justices Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh made a similar point, but said he did not want to interfere with this year’s election process, which is already underway. The filing deadline in North Carolina was Friday.
Both states involved partisan wrangling and litigation over congressional redistribution in state courts, where the legislatures are controlled by Republicans, the governor is Democrat and the state’s supreme courts have a Democratic majority.
In Pennsylvania, Democratic Governor Tom Wolf vetoed a plan approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature, saying it was the result of a “partisan political process.”
The state, with a delegation of nine Democrats and nine Republicans, is losing one seat in the House after the 2020 census.
Republicans said the map they came up with would elect nine Democrats and eight Republicans. The GOP argued that state courts eventually stepped in and approved a map that would probably elect 10 Democrats.
North Carolina is picking up a seat in the House because of the population advantage. The Republican majority in the legislature drew up an initial plan that would likely result in 10 seats for Republicans and four for Democrats. The governor does not have veto power over redistribution plans in North Carolina.
After Democrats filed suit, the state’s High Court chose a map that would likely elect at least six Democrats.
Trials are ongoing in both states, but the Supreme Court indicated in Monday’s orders that elections to Congress in North Carolina and Pennsylvania this year will take place under a map approved by the states’ top courts.