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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

SCOTUS Ruling Improves Dem 2018 Prospects, May Block ‘Extreme Partisan Gerrymandering’

At CNN Politics ‘The Point,’ Chis Cillizza reports some very good news for Democrats:

On Monday afternoon, the Supreme Court handed Democrats a major victory in the party’s attempt to retake the House this November, turning aside an appeal by Pennsylvania Republicans that would have kept the state’s new congressional map from being in effect for the coming primary and general elections in the Keystone State.

“For Democrats, it means a likely pickup of additional 4-5 seats,” said Marc Elias, a noted Democratic elections lawyer. “Democrats only need 23 to retake the majority in the House, so this is one big chunk.”…The new map, which now almost certainly will be the lines under which candidates will run in 2018, also handed Democrats a series of opportunities including at least three seats in southeastern Pennsylvania and several more improved opportunities in places like Allentown and southwestern Pennsylvania.

Cillizza adds that “Democrats could raise that to five seats, then more than 20% of all the seats they need to pick up to retake the majority might come from Pennsylvania alone.” In addition, “there is the broader import of the Supreme Court declining to hear the redistricting appeal by Pennsylvania Republicans. Pennsylvania is one of a handful of states with ongoing battles over how much partisanship and politics is too much partisanship and politics when it comes to redistricting.”

Further, “If the Court ultimately decides that extreme partisan gerrymandering is unconstitutional, it will have a profound effect on how maps gets drawn — and who controls the House majority — in 2021 and beyond.”

Adam Liptak notes in The New York Times that “The latest application was denied by the full Supreme Court without comment or noted dissents.” Also, he ads,

Hours before the Supreme Court issued its order, a panel of three federal judges rejected a third and quite similar challenge to the State Supreme Court’s map from Republicans in Pennsylvania’s State Senate. The panel of two United States district judges and one federal court of appeals judge said the Republican senators did not have standing to sue…While further court challenges are possible, Monday’s decisions make it very likely that this year’s congressional elections in Pennsylvania will be conducted using the new map, which will help Democrats.

The ruling caps a great week for Democrats, particularly Pennsylvania Democrats. And if the SCOTUS trend against partisan gerrymandering continues, it will be great for American democracy, as well

One comment on “SCOTUS Ruling Improves Dem 2018 Prospects, May Block ‘Extreme Partisan Gerrymandering’

  1. Victor on

    These rulings aren’t novel as they don’t concern partisan gerrymandering as a federal question.

    They allow states to deal with partisan gerrymandering, but they don’t require it and therefore may allow red and purple states to do nothing about it or even to worsen the problem.


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