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Supreme Court Delivers Blow To Republicans, Declines To Take Up Pa. Redistricting

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks at a rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court in October on the day arguments took place in a case about political maps in Wisconsin.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up a Republican challenge to the newly drawn Pennsylvania congressional map ahead of the 2018 elections.

The decision means Republicans have few, if any, options remaining to try and stem a map that will almost certainly result in Democrats picking up potentially three or four seats and could make half a dozen or more competitive.

Last month, the Supreme Court also declined to block the state-court decision that said the old GOP-drawn map violated the state constitution.

Republicans drew a gerrymandered map in 2011 that resulted in a 13-5 congressional-district advantage. That was despite Democrats winning the state in five straight presidential elections at the time.

Democrats need to win a net of 24 seats to win a majority in the U.S. House.

The decision comes on the same day a federal court's dismissed a lawsuit filed by Republican congressmen challenging the new map. It's a double gut punch to the GOP and all but guarantees Democrats pick up a few seats, and in an election with control of Congress at stake, every seat counts.

Legally, the challenge could also open the path to a slew of state-court challenges.

Challengers to the 2011 GOP-drawn map called into question its legality based on the state constitution, a rarity that could provide a roadmap to challengers in other states.

The Supreme Court's decision also today shows a possible reluctance to weigh in on state law when it comes to redistricting.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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