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HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Republican leaders of the Pennsylvania Legislature on Wednesday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block a new congressional district map that is widely considered likely to give Democrats a boost in their quest to capture control of the U.S. House.

House Speaker Mike Turzai and Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati said the state's highest court usurped legislative authority when it issued the new map Monday, calling it an unprecedented decision.

"The Pennsylvania Supreme Court conspicuously seized the redistricting process and prevented any meaningful ability for the Legislature to enact a remedial map to ensure a court drawn map," they wrote in an electronic filing.

The challenge adds uncertainty as candidates are preparing to circulate nominating petitions to get their names on the May primary ballot.

A spokesman for Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, responding to the lawmakers' filing, said Wolf was "focused on making sure the Department of State is fully complying with the court's order by updating their systems and assisting candidates, county election officials and voters prepare for the primary election."

Republicans said a separate challenge to the map in federal court in Harrisburg is also possible this week.

The Democratic majority on the state Supreme Court in January threw out a 2011 congressional district map that had been drafted by Republicans, saying it violated the state constitution's guarantee of free and equal elections.

A Section on 02/22/2018

Print Headline: High court asked to bar map's redo

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