Pa. high court throws out state House, Senate redistricting plan

Current district lines will remain until new plan passes legal muster

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A divided Pennsylvania Supreme Court is invalidating a plan to redraw district lines for seats in the state House and Senate, calling the redistricting approach "contrary to law."

The justices voted 4-3 Wednesday to send the plan back to the Legislative Reapportionment Commission, and the majority said their opinion in the case would be released later.

The high court's ruling throws into disarray plans by candidates and parties for this year's General Assembly races.

Among the changes in the Republican-drafted plan is the move of the 5th District state House seat from Erie County to Berks County. A few candidates have already announced plans to run for the seat.

According to the court's two-page order, current district lines will remain in force until the commission comes up with a new plan that passes legal muster.

The commission consists of the Republican and Democratic floor leaders from the House and Senate, along with a fifth member, an appointed judge.

The plan the court threw out was opposed by Senate Democrats.

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