Supreme Court officials announced on Friday that Justice Samuel Alito denied [AP report] state legislators’ request for a stay in the redistricting case Agre v. Wolf [advocacy website]. In a mandamus petition [text, PDF] filed on October 30, State Representative Michael C. Turzai and State Senator Joseph B. Scarnati, III, argued that Supreme Court intervention in the form of a stay was the only avenue left through which they could ensure that district court proceedings would not inhibit parallel state court challenges to the redistricting plan, avoid “substantial uncertainty uncertainty regarding the 2018 elections,” and protect their ability to ” fairly and effectively litigate the case.” Alito’s denial of that request was relayed to the parties without a written order being issued.
On October 25, a three judge panel for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted a Motion to Intervene [texts, PDF] by Turzai and Scarnati. The legislators asked the Supreme Court to stay district court proceedings in Agre, arguing that this case is substantively similar to Whitford v. Gill [JURIST report], which is currently before the Court. They had argued that a decision in Whitford could render Agre moot.
The complaint in Agre v. Wolf, filed on October 2, argues [pdf] that current electoral maps unfairly give Pennsylvania Republicans an advantage and violate the First and Fourteenth Amendments and Elections clause of the US Constitution.