"The Pennsylvania Supreme Court conspicuously seized the redistricting process and prevented any meaningful ability for the Legislature to enact a remedial map to ensure a court drawn map", they wrote in an electronic filing.
As for the partisan impact, according to Aaron Bycoffe, writing for FiveThirtyEight.com, the new map, while more favorable to Democrats than the old map, stops short of committing the reverse offense of being a "Democratic gerrymander".
Republicans who controlled the Legislature and the governor's office after the 2010 census crafted the now-invalidated map to help elect Republicans.
But whether the current heavily gerrymandered map or the Supreme Court map is in place for this year's elections, it is temporary, good for no more than two congressional election cycles. The immediate analysis was that the new lines would enable Democrats to take over two Republican-held seats in the Philadelphia suburbs and, conceivably, a couple more elsewhere in the state. A similar emergency appeal failed earlier this month when it was turned down by Justice Samuel Alito.
Before the 2011 redistricting, Democrats had 8 seats in the U.S. House.
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The submitted maps varied significantly in terms of partisan advantage, though overall they all made districts more compact, and to varying degrees they divided fewer municipalities.
For the first time in at least a decade, Democrats are making a strong elective push in the Lehigh Valley, with candidates seeking to get on the ballot for each of the 11 House seats that serve Lehigh and Northampton counties.
This is a district where the redrawn lines might make it a little bit harder for the Democrats, which could complicate their campaign in the special election. Only 13 counties are split in the new plan, and Bucks, Chester, and Delaware Counties are each entirely within a single district. They also see improved Democratic prospects in the eastern Pennsylvania seat of retiring Republican Charlie Dent.
It has proven to be a political victor for the GOP, helping the party maintain a 13-5 edge in the state's congressional delegation over three straight election cycles.
Dean's statement touted her support from former Gov. Ed Rendell who said Dean, a former township commissioner and veteran lawmaker, has "the right experience and always fights for the right things". The stakes are huge both in the state and nationally.
The Democratic majority on the state Supreme Court in January threw out a 2011 congressional district map that had been drafted by Republicans, saying it violated the state constitution's guarantee of free and equal elections.