The U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up a Republican challenge to the newly drawn Pennsylvania congressional map ahead of the 2018 elections.
The decision means Republicans have few, if any, options remaining to try and stem a map that will almost certainly result in Democrats picking up potentially three or four seats and could make half a dozen or more competitive.
Last month, the Supreme Court also declined to block the state-court decision that said the old GOP-drawn map violated the state constitution.
Currently, a map drawn by Republicans in 2011 resulted in a gerrymandered 13-5 congressional map, bent in the GOP’s favor.
Democrats need to win a net of 24 seats to win a majority in the U.S. House.
The decision comes on the same day as a federal court’s decision to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Republican congressmen challenging the map. It’s a double gut punch to the GOP and all but guarantees Democrats pick up a few seats, and in an election with control of Congress at stake, every seat counts.
Legally, the challenge could open a slew of state-court challenges. Challengers to the map called into question the legality of the map based on the STATE constitution, a rarity that could provide a roadmap to challengers in other states. And the Supreme Court’s decision today shows a possible reluctance to weigh in on state law when it comes to redistricting.