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Gov. Wolf Rejects Republicans' Proposed Electoral Map, Calling It Partisan

[caption id="attachment_12628" align="alignnone" width="620"] Thomas Wolf, governor of Pennsylvania.[/caption] Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has rejected the proposed redistricting of the state's gerrymandered congressional map, saying it too is partisan and unfairly drawn. Republican legislators created the new map after the state Supreme Court ruled the 2011 version was unconstitutional. The justices ordered the Republican-controlled legislature to create and Wolf, a Democrat, to sign off on a new map by mid-February or the court would take over the project. It seems unlikely that the executive and legislative branches will solve the problem in time now that Wolf has expressed his disapproval. “Partisan gerrymandering weakens citizen power, promotes gridlock and stifles meaningful reform,” Wolf said Tuesday. ”As non-partisan analysts have already said, [the Republicans'] map maintains a similar partisan advantage by employing many of the same unconstitutional tactics present in their 2011 map." “The analysis by my team shows that, like the 2011 map, the map submitted to my office by Republican leaders is still a gerrymander," he continued. "Their map clearly seeks to benefit one political party, which is the essence of why the court found the current map to be unconstitutional.” The state Supreme Court's Jan. 21 decision in League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania garnered significant attention and has been incorporated into the national debate about the fairness of politicians drawing the lines of their own voting blocs. Gerrymandering has been fiercely contested by parties on both ends of the political spectrum and eliminating the practice has been, in recent years, a rallying cry used by several high-profile leaders across the country. Action movie star and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has joined other state governors in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down partisan gerrymandering once and for all. Schwarzenegger—with Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and former California Gov. Gray Davis—filed an amicus brief to the high court in support of a lawsuit filed by Republican voters in Maryland challenging the constitutionality of the state’s congressional districts. The filing in Benisek v. Lamone came roughly a week after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's ruling, a decision that legal experts say was long overdue. State Republicans appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to put a hold on the enforcement of the Pennsylvania high court's order. Justice Samuel A. Alito, however, denied their request. The U.S. Supreme Court is set to take on the legality of gerrymandering in a pending case, Gill v. Whitford.