By Jim Ellis
Feb. 21, 2018 — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court placed into law a new congressional map Monday, thereby completing their assumption of legislative redistricting duties, and with it bringing questions pertaining to institutional balance of powers.
The map is a radical reconfiguration of the Pennsylvania plan that has been in place since the 2012 election. The re-draw even went so far as to re-number virtually all of the districts, thus changing the state’s historical political complexion. It is probable that Republicans will file a new lawsuit against this map in federal court, with the goal of getting it to the US Supreme Court. The high court has stayed similar recent redistricting decisions in Michigan, North Carolina, and Texas in anticipation of the Wisconsin political gerrymandering decision, so it is possible the same could happen here.
Comparing the new districts to the current map, President Trump carried 12 of the state’s 18 CDs under the previous congressional plan, though Republicans hold 13 of the 18 districts in the US House. Under the new plan, President Trump would have won 10 of the 18 districts.
The Daily Kos Elections political analysis site released political and geographic data for the new 18 districts. It is probable that Democrats would gain three to five seats under this new plan. A summary of their findings follows: