Judges Block Republicans' Challenge to the New Pennsylvania Voting Map

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A panel of three federal judges blocked a challenge on Monday from Pennsylvania Republicans to stop the state's new congressional maps from going into effect.

The new maps were drawn by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court after it found the old maps gave Republicans an unfair advantage and were unconstitutional. (State lawmakers were given a chance to draw up new districts themselves, but they missed the deadline.)

Pennsylvania's new voting map.

Pennsylvania's new voting map.

Critics claim the new maps give Democrats an edge in future elections. Two Republican state senators and eight congressmen filed a motion to dismiss the new map, arguing that the court had no right to define the state's 18 congressional districts.

The judges with the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania disagreed. "The plaintiffs' frustration with the process by which the Pennsylvania Supreme Court implemented its own redistricting map is plain," the judges wrote in their ruling. "But frustration, even frustration emanating from arduous time constraints placed on the legislative process, does not accord the plaintiffs a right to relief."

Unless the U.S. Supreme Court intervenes, the new map will go into effect for the state's May primary elections.

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