The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is ordering special elections for six vacant state House seats to be held along with the state's April 24 primary election.
 
The high court's order settles the latest dispute over its decision earlier this year to throw out the new maps of legislative districts approved by a five-member panel.
 
The court says in a 4-3 decision that the fundamental right to representation in the six House districts is at stake.
 
House Speaker Sam Smith had protested that he is powerless to act until the Legislative Reapportionment Commission passes a legal redistricting plan and the Supreme Court approves it.

One of those six vacant seats belonged to former state Representative Doug Reichley.    

He represented parts of  Lehigh and Berks counties before being elected as a judge last November.