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Federal Judges To Rule 'As Promptly As Possible' In Pennsylvania Redistricting Case

HARRISBURG (CBS) -- A federal judge says he and his colleagues will rule "as promptly as possible" after a hearing on Republicans' petition for an injunction against the map of congressional districts imposed by the state Supreme Court last month.

The three-member panel of federal judges peppered lawyers for both sides in the bitter redistricting battle with pointed questions on a wide range of legal issues during a three-and-a-half hour hearing in a Harrisburg courtroom.

Republicans claim the state Supreme Court usurped the legislature's power when it imposed its own map of congressional districts.

But in addition to the merits of the case, the judges must also decide whether the individual GOP members of Congress and the state legislature who are seeking the injunction have standing to do so, and whether the elections clause of the U.S. Constitution empowers federal judges to decide a state dispute.

The judges also pondered the wisdom of wading into the case given the fact that the Republican plaintiffs have already gone to the U.S. Supreme Court seeking a stay of the state high court decision.

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