congressional district

Ashley Oleson, with the League of Women Voters of Maryland, carries signs of the state's districts, before oral arguments in Benisek v. Lamon in front of the Supreme Court, Wednesday, March 28, 2018.
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

The U.S. Supreme Court was expected to make a defining decision on extreme partisan gerrymandering this term. It took up two cases, one from Wisconsin, and the other from Maryland. But, in unanimous decisions, the court avoided the key constitutional question at stake in these cases: How much politics is too much when determining voting districts?

Instead, it ruled on technicalities.

Senator Lisa Boscola asks for support for her redistricting bill before the chamber's Appropriations Committee.
Katie Meyer / WITF

After more than a year of on-and-off negotiation, the state Senate has moved a congressional redistricting overhaul to the floor of the full chamber.

However, the compromise measure is expected to undergo significant changes before it heads to the House as soon as next week.

Ashley Oleson, with the League of Women Voters of Maryland, carries signs of the state's districts, before oral arguments in Benisek v. Lamon in front of the Supreme Court, Wednesday, March 28, 2018.
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

 

This month the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to deliver two highly anticipated decisions on cases involving partisan gerrymandering — one from Wisconsin and the other from Maryland.

The central question in both cases is: How much politics is too much when it comes to drawing the boundaries of a voting district?

In the past, the court has said it couldn’t answer that question.

Trucks at cargo dock
Associated Press

Art Halvorson is one of eight Republicans running for U.S. House in the 13th Congressional district primary.

He said President Trump’s move to impose tariffs on some Chinese goods is “overdue.”

He said Trump is sending a signal to China — making it clear the United States is going to defend itself.

“We’ve been feckless and we’ve been weak," Halvorson said. "And when you send a signal that you’re weak, you create war and instability, international disruption. America has to be strong for the rest of the world to be strong.”

In Pennsylvania, candidates running in the primaries for U.S. House and Senate had to file their nomination petitions by the end of the day Tuesday. That deadline had been extended because of the legislative redistricting that took place.

Democratic congressional hopeful Laura Quick in between campaign calls on a recent afternoon. Quick is running for the U.S. House of Representatives in the new 9th Congressional District.
Emily Previti / Keystone Crossroads

Democratic congressional hopeful Laura Quick and two campaign staffers recently set up shop for the afternoon inside a Panera Bread not too far from her home in Palmyra, Lebanon County.

They’d popped open their laptops on the table closest to a fireplace going full blast. That warmth would probably be welcome on most February afternoons, but it was an unseasonable 70 degrees outside.

“I asked them to turn it off, but they can’t,” explained Josh Brady, 23, Quick’s unofficial numbers guy.

So they decided to deal with the extra heat.

From left to right: Diego Uribe, Ben Shaman, Jake Richard, and Quinn Berger evalute Pennsylvania's new congressional district map compared to the 2011 version at the Westtown School in West Chester, Pa.
Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

In the days after the Pa. Supreme Court released its new congressional map, students in Jon Kimmel’s 8th grade math class huddled around computers to analyze the changes.

The class has been closely following the twists and turns of a case that could have an impact on the balance of power in Washington D.C.

A map of the 7th congressional district. Gerrymandering has divided the communities of the 7th congressional district in Montgomery and Chester counties. The district incorporates most of Delaware County and portions of Chester, Montgomery, Berks and Lanc
Dan Gleiter / PennLive.com

In a full majority opinion released Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court found that the state’s congressional district map deprives voters’ of their right to “free and equal” elections as protected by the Pennsylvania Constitution.

County Commissioners and advocates spoke in front of county courthouse in Lock Haven
Min Xian / WPSU

Advocacy group Fair Districts PA announced on Thursday that Clinton County is the first in the state to get all of its municipalities and county commissioners to pass resolutions in support of redistricting reform. The group believes momentum to end gerrymandering is growing.

The resolutions demand a fair way to draw legislative district lines and to end gerrymandering in Pennsylvania. Twenty-nine municipalities as well as the county commissioners supported reform.