Shortly after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Monday issued a new congressional map that eliminates the state GOP’s partisan gerrymander, President Donald Trump implored Republicans to challenge the new district lines, arguing that the original map—which the state’s highest court said “clearly” violates the constitution—”was correct.”
Many commentators were quick to observe that Trump’s tweet effectively undercuts the Pennsylvania GOP’s argument that their maps were not drawn to gain partisan advantage.
“‘Don’t let the Dems take elections away from you’ is the sort of thing I would advise my client not to say if I were a Republican election attorney arguing that gerrymanders aren’t unconstitutional efforts to rig elections,” wrote Ian Millhiser of ThinkProgress.
“The president knows that ending extreme gerrymandering takes away anti-democratic advantages that Republicans need to remain competitive.”
—John Nichols, The Nation
The president also either isn’t aware of, or doesn’t care about, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to reject Pennsylvania Republicans’ attempt to restore their gerrymandered map earlier this month.
In response to Trump’s tweet on Tuesday, the advocacy group Common Cause wrote: “It’s not surprising that the most unethical president in American history would support partisan gerrymandering that erodes everyday people’s choice, voice, and vote. That’s why we are building a democracy movement that is stronger than Donald Trump.”
Other commentators weighed in on Trump’s expressed support for “election-rigging that distorts democracy.”