Between the federal government shutdown and the PA Supreme Court’s noogie regarding congressional maps, the week got off to a bit of a shaky start. With the government shutdown, there was ample ugliness to go around as the R’s blamed the D’s, Schumer blamed McConnell, WaPo (as usual) blamed Trump, Abbott blamed Costello, and the American electorate collectively rolled its eyes once again. The Atlantic published an insightful piece sorting out what’s what.
In the post-mortem sweepstakes, Sen. Chuck Schumer and his fellow Democrats took considerable heat for shutting the government down in the first place, and then for backing off and leaving the 700,000 people in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in limbo. U.S. News & World Report called it “the daily struggle for America’s soul.” Expect elevated bickering and more political hostage-taking as a March 5 deadline looms for ending the DACA program.
As for those congressional districts, the court ruled 5-2 – along party lines, for those keeping score at home – that the Republican-controlled General Assembly and (at the time) governor’s office overstepped in the way they configured the maps, in violation of the State Constitution. The court gave lawmakers and Governor Wolf until Feb. 15 to straighten things out, or the court will draw new maps. GOP legislative leaders appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.