And if the governor and Legislature fail to submit a new redistricting plan by next Friday, the Supreme Court will produce its own plan to be used for this year's congressional races. "The challengers asked the state court to block the use of five state House districts adopted by the Republican lawmakers past year for Wake and Mecklenburg counties and order them to use election districts drawn by Nathaniel Persily, the Stanford University professor hired by the federal court as a 'special master.' Dallas Woodhouse, North Carolina Republican Party executive director, criticized the move as 'Hail Mary efforts by the other side'". "In terms of compactness, a rudimentary review reveals a map comprised of oddly shaped, sprawling districts which wander seemingly arbitrarily across Pennsylvania, leaving 28 counties, 68 political subdivisions, and numerous wards, divided among as many as five congressional districts, in their wakes", the justices wrote.
Turzai and Scarnati also have a request pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, which has other redistricting cases now pending before it, to put the Pennsylvania case on hold.
By drawing districts in this way, Pennsylvania Republicans "interfere [D] to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage" under the Pennsylvania state Constitution.
Republican leaders in the state House and Senate say they have agreed to a map of Pennsylvania's 18 congressional districts. The state's high court ordered the lines redrawn by this Friday: either the red-run legislature would do it or a court-hired election law expert would step in.
The decision comes as the U.S. Supreme Court considers whether to allow lower federal court decisions in two other gerrymandering lawsuits in North Carolina, and Wisconsin to stand.
In the emergency motion filed Wednesday, the plaintiffs claim the districts the Supreme Court placed in limbo, four in Wake County and one in Mecklenburg County, violate the state constitution's prohibition on mid-decade redistricting.
Some of the districts were so oddly shaped to benefit Republicans that they drew derisive descriptions: Goofy Kicking Donald Duck; a malnourished hammerhead shark winding through six counties; the state of Florida, with a longer panhandle. The district is held by Republican Patrick Meehan, who is retiring after reports that he settled a sexual harassment allegation.
It has given the legislature and the governor until February 15 to "enact" a new plan. They are: U.S. Rep. In the court's estimation, this clause is "a bulwark against the adverse consequences of partisan gerrymandering".
In anticipation of Friday's deadline, lawmakers have begun the preliminary procedures that could pave the way for a new map.
"I'm able to conclude with well-over 99.9 percent statistical certainty that the [2011 Plan's] creation of a 13-5 Republican advantage in Pennsylvania's congressional delegation is an outcome that would never have emerged from a districting process adhering to and following traditional districting principles", Chen told the court.
Dush is not arguing the need for redistricting, but instead, the constitutionality of the Supreme Court's involvement. They maintained that margin in the two subsequent elections.
They haven't decided if the map submission will be made public.
The governor, when he reviews maps, will be receiving help from Moon Duchin, a professor of mathematics at Tufts University, to help evaluate any potential maps to determine their fairness.
The Court's opinion stipulates that congressional maps should be "composed of compact and contiguous territory; as almost equal in population as practicable; and which do not divide any county, city, incorporated town, borough, township, or ward, except where necessary to ensure equality of population".
"Apparently no one in Pennsylvania knows how to do this", Corman said.
"The desire is to have legislation", he said.
Corman said that while some lawmakers will likely want to attend that parade, there should be enough at the Capitol to vote on re-drawn maps if there's a plan in place.