Republicans lose bid to get state court to halt district map

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court is declining to delay implementation of a new congressional map the justices put in place last week.

Four Democratic justices on Tuesday voted down a request by the highest-ranking Republican leaders in the state House and Senate, Speaker Mike Turzai and President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati.

The brief order indicates both Republicans on the court and Democratic Justice Max Baer dissented from the decision.

The period for the state’s congressional candidates to circulate petitions to get on the May primary ballot began Tuesday.

Turzai and Scarnati also are pursuing a request for the U.S. Supreme Court to block the map.

The Pennsylvania court threw out the Republican-crafted 2011 map last month, calling it a partisan gerrymander that violated the state constitution’s guarantee of free and equal elections.

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