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Supreme Court Rejects Key GOP Challenge - Why It Could Help Dems Take Over Congress

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In a blow to Republicans, the US Supreme Court has refused to take up the party's challenge to block a newly drawn map they say is more favorable to Democrats.

Likewise, on the same day, federal courts dismissed a lawsuit by GOP congressmen to challenge the new map.

It's a double blow that increases the Democratic Party's chances of retaking control of the US House of Representatives in this fall's midterm elections.

"I'm sure we'll review options, but I think we're accepting the decision," the Philadelphia Inquirer quoted state Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre), one of the lawmakers who brought the US District Court challenge. "(We) don't like it, but that's life and we move on."

Back in 2011, Republicans drew up a gerrymandered map that gave them a 13-5 edge in the state's congressional delegation for the three elections in which it was used.

But Monday's rulings now give the Democrats the upper hand. Currently, they need to take 24 seats from Republicans to win a majority in the US House.

Franklin and Marshall College political scientist Terry Madonna says Democrats are in a good position to pick up three seats in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

And he adds they also have a fighting chance of flipping GOP districts in Harrisburg, Allentown and outside Pittsburgh.

"Now, the Democrats nationally will look at Pennsylvania as one of the top priorities, for the obvious reason that of the 24 seats that they need, Pennsylvania has a reasonable chance of putting three in their corner," Madonna said.

Tuesday is the deadline to file for the May 15 primary ballot.

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