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Gov. Wolf rejects GOP's new congressional district map

Wes Venteicher
| Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, 12:21 p.m.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf
Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf

Gov. Tom Wolf on Tuesday rejected a new congressional district map that state Republican leaders submitted to the State Supreme Court last week.

In a letter to State House Speaker Mike Turzai and Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, Wolf said the map favors Republicans. The court ordered lawmakers to craft the new map last month after ruling that the old map, drawn in 2011, violates the state constitution by unfairly favoring Republicans.

Turzai and Scarnati submitted the map Friday, the court's deadline, after unsuccessfully appealing the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Wolf said the map fails to meet court requirements to create a map that is logical and compact and gives no partisan advantage.

The two Republicans said in a responding letter that the map does meet the court's order.

“It is constitutional and meets the criteria set out by the court of compactness, contiguity and respecting political subdivisions,” Turzai and Scarnati said in the letter.

The Republicans called on Wolf to release his own map for the General Assembly to review, saying they would put it up for a vote.

The leaders added that they “do not concede” the court has the power to invalidate the map, saying it has been in place for three election cycles and passed the House with votes from Democrats.

If the two sides can't agree on a map by Monday, the court will produce its own map, to be put in place before the May 15 primary elections.

Wes Venteicher is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-380-5676, wventeicher@tribweb.com or via Twitter @wesventeicher.

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