>> Pennsylvania's top court threw out the state's map of congressional districts, a move that some see as a potential windfall for Democrats, looking to retake the House this year. The State Supreme Court on Monday said, Pennsylvania's current electoral map clearly, plainly, and palpably violates the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Reuters correspondent, Joseph Ax.>> Ever since the Republican-controlled legislature, redrew the maps in 2011, Republicans have held 13 out of the state's 18 congressional seats. And that's been true starting in 2012, and that was the year when Democrats actually won a majority of the statewide vote. And so what the plaintiffs in this case basically said is, if you look at the shape of those districts, it's obvious that they were drawn in a way to benefit Republicans at the expense of Democrats.
And that's why they've been able to hold so many of the seats, even though it's a swing state, even though there's actually more registered Democrats than registered Republicans.>> Drawing electoral maps to give one political party an advantage is known as gerrymandering. Experts say Pennsylvania contains some of the most extreme examples.
Many point to Pennsylvania's 7th district, a shape that observers have nicknamed, Goofy kicking Donald Duck. The court ordered legislators to submit a new map to the governor by February 9th, who has until the 15th to sign off on it. The decision has the potential to change, not just the districts in Pennsylvania, but the balance of power in Washington.
>> A more neutral map could immediately put into play, maybe half a dozen extra seats for Democrats. They only need to win 24 seats in the fall across the country to take back the House from Republicans. And they could pick up three, four, five, maybe even six seats, just in Pennsylvania alone.
So assuming that the new map is more neutrally drawn, this could really be a huge game-changer, in terms of Democrats, their ability nationally to take over the House.>> Hey, ho, ho. Gerrymandering has to go.>> It's the latest court case to tackle an issue that the US Supreme Court is scheduled to decide later this year.
Pennsylvania Republicans have vowed to appeal Monday’s decision to the US Supreme Court, but because this was a state case about the state Constitution, legal experts say it’s unlikely the justices will weigh in.