Pa. GOP lawmakers expected to join suit against new congressional map

Pa. GOP lawmakers expected to join suit against new congressional map
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Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania are expected to join a forthcoming lawsuit challenging the state's new congressional maps, new lines that are expected to improve the Democratic Party's chances in about a half-dozen districts currently held by the GOP.

Republicans are planning to push back against the new map, which was unveiled by the state Supreme Court on Monday after a ruling last month axed the current district boundaries. The court enacted its own lines after the Republican-controlled legislature and the Democratic governor couldn't reach an agreement to draw a new map.

Republicans currently hold 13 of the state's 18 congressional seats, a fact that's long frustrated Democrats, considering their strength in statewide elections, and helped prompt the initial case challenging the lines in court.

That new map shifts the playing field in the Democratic Party's favor in six congressional districts, all currently held by GOP lawmakers. That's frustrating Republicans, who are framing the court's decision as a partisan coup by a Democratic-majority court.

In Pennsylvania, Supreme Court justices are identified by political party on the ballot.

"State and federal GOP officials will sue in federal court as soon as tomorrow to prevent the new partisan map from taking effect," National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Matt Gorman said in a statement Tuesday.

"The suit will highlight the state supreme court’s rushed decision that created chaos, confusion, and unnecessary expense in the 2018 election cycle."

Pennsylvania Republicans have been warning about the prospect of a lawsuit challenging the court's lines for weeks and have reiterated those calls since the new lines were released. A GOP official told The Hill that the court challenge will include some Republican members of the Pennsylvania congressional delegation.

But while Republicans cast the ruling as an overreach, Democrats have celebrated the decision as reflecting the party's identity as a swing state. President TrumpDonald John TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report House unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist MORE won the state by about 1 percentage point in 2016, but Democrats hold most statewide offices, including governor, attorney general and treasurer.

“These new remedial maps mean fairness for the voters of Pennsylvania, who have long been subject to outsized Republican representation due to gerrymandering," Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee communications director Meredith Kelly said Monday in a statement.

"More maps should look like Pennsylvania’s, so that there is a level playing field for candidates to compete and earn the trust of voters.”