On February 11, 2022 a group of Pennsylvania voters filed a federal lawsuit against Pennsylvania's Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth, Governor, and Director for the Pennsylvania Bureau of Election Services and Notaries challenging the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's authority to order the adoption of a congressional redistricting plan since the state legislature failed to do so. Plaintiffs assert that under the U.S. Constitution's Elections Clause (art. I, Section 4, clause 1), each state's redistricting authority is vested solely with their Legislature, and, in Pennsylvania, the General Assembly has not delegated any of its map-drawing powers to the state judiciary; therefore, the State Supreme Court lacks authority to assume control over the process. Additionally, plaintiffs assert that the Court also lacks congressional redistricting authority because the U.S. Congress has already specified in 2 U.S.C. Section 2(a)(c)(5) that if a state which has lost a congressional seat during reapportionment fails to enact a new congressional map in time for the 2022 primary, then the state must hold at-large elections until a new plan is enacted. They are seeking a judicial declaration that Pennsylvania is required by federal law to hold at-large elections for Congress in 2022 and until the General Assembly enacts a new plan and a preliminary and permanent injunction compelling the State to hold at-large congressional elections until a new plan is enacted.

The district court denied the plaintiffs' request for a temporary restraining order on February 25. Three days later, the plaintiffs appealed this decision to the U.S. Supreme Court by filing an emergency application for writ of injunction seeking to bar the implementation of the selected congressional plan. The U.S. Supreme Court denied the application on March 7, 2022.

On March 16, the district court issued an opinion and order granting the defendants' motion to dismiss the plaintiffs' Elections Clause claims on the grounds they had failed to establish an injury-in-fact necessary for Article III standing. The plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the case on March 28, 2022.


U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Williamsport Division - No. 1:22-cv-208

U.S. Supreme Court - No. 21A457