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Pennsylvania Republicans appeal to Supreme Court over gerrymandering ruling

Pennsylvania Republicans appeal to Supreme Court over gerrymandering ruling
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GOP lawmakers in Pennsylvania are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to stop a state court’s decision that found Pennsylvania’s congressional map was unconstitutionally gerrymandered.

Lawyers for Republican state legislative leaders argued in a court filing Thursday that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court violated a clause that allows state legislatures to handle congressional redistricting, The Associated Press reported.

The filing asks the Supreme Court to put a hold on the lower court's ruling while it considers Republicans' argument, according to the AP.

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The state court ruled earlier this week that Pennsylvania’s congressional map was gerrymandered to the point that it was unconstitutional. As a result, the state must draw a new map ahead of this year’s elections.

The decision was hailed as a major victory for Democrats, who argued the old map unfairly favored Republicans. 

The state’s general assembly is required to submit a new map to the governor by Feb. 9 for consideration. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, then has until Feb. 15 to submit a plan to the court.

Republicans drew the state’s map in 2011, and the party currently holds 13 seats in the House, while Democrats have five.

The Supreme Court has already heard arguments this term in one case related to partisan gerrymandering and has agreed to hear another case.