The Republican leader of the state House, Mike Turzai, said in an interview that the new map was "clearly partisan". Last month, the Court ruled that the state's previous congressional district map "clearly, plainly, and palpably" violated the state constitution and ruled in favor of the plaintiffs.
The Supreme Court's map, which it drew after rejecting proposals by legislative Republicans and the Democratic Wolf administration, is far more sensible than the one it would replace in time for the May 15 primary election. State Republicans issued an Op/Ed piece saying they are going to challenge the state court's right to make the change. Ten of the districts in the new map were won by Trump, while eight went to Clinton.
The five Democrats on the Supreme Court sided with Democratic voters who challenged the map, although one of them, Justice Max Baer, has pointedly opposed the compressed timetable.
"The new map gives the Democrats a solid chance to pick up three seats", says Terry Madonna, who closely analyzes Pennsylvania politics as director of the Franklin & Marshall College poll.
The complaint in Harrisburg federal court argued against the legality of the map put in place Monday by the state Supreme Court, and said a 2011 Republican-crafted map should remain in use this year. Under the new map, observers expect the delegation will be more evenly divided.
Before the 2011 redistricting, Democrats had 64 seats in in the Illinois House. "This court recognized that the primary responsibility for drawing congressional districts rested squarely with the legislature", its order read, "but we also acknowledged that" redrawing the map would fall to the court if the legislature did not pass one that Wolf would sign. It could be the difference between Democrats taking control of the U.S. House or not in the 2018 midterms.
The redrawing could alter the political landscape in Southeastern Pennsylvania, where Democrats now have three representatives from Philadelphia, while Republicans have three in the suburbs. Her analysis, the governor said, found that the map has "no partisan skew in comparison to over a billion randomly generated maps". They also see improved Democratic prospects in the eastern Pennsylvania seat of retiring Republican Charlie Dent. The stakes are huge both in the state and nationally. They believe they have a stronger case now that they court redrew the maps. Even though Democratic and Republican voters are evenly split in the state, a hypothetical model of a "normal election" shows the Democrats' expected win total being 7.5 seats out of 18, the result in part of Democratic voters being concentrated in the state's two largest cities of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.