Photo: Saul Loeb / AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined Pennsylvania Republicans' request to delay the drawing of a congressional map before this year's midterm election.

Why it matters: This is a significant blow to the GOP's effort to fight the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling last month that said the state's 18 congressional district lines, which give Republicans an electoral edge, “clearly, plainly and palpably” violated the state’s constitution.

The backdrop: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered the Republican-controlled state legislature to draw the new congressional map by February 9 and for Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf to submit it to the court by February 15. The court also ruled that next month's special election to replace Republican Rep. Tim Murphy will still take place under the current congressional map. The GOP has a 13-5 seat advantage in the state's U.S. House delegation.

What they're saying:

  • Gov. Wolf lauded the decision in a statement, saying “there is no reason to delay implementing” the court order. “Now, all parties must focus on getting a fair map in place”
  • Pennsylvania House Speaker Michael Turzai (R) and Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R), who petitioned the Supreme Court to halt the redistricting ruling, said in a joint statement that their “request was necessary.” They added that they'd “do [their] best” to draw a new map by the deadline, "but may be compelled to pursue further legal action in federal court.”
"We still do not believe that there was a violation of the state Constitution, that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court can direct us to draw a new congressional map, or that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has the authority to draw a new Congressional District Map under the Pennsylvania Constitution or United States Constitution." — Turzai and Scarnati said in the statement.

Go deeper: The gerrymandering cases to watch in 2018

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 12,382,748 — Total deaths: 557,241 — Total recoveries — 6,796,045Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 3,163,505 — Total deaths: 133,847 — Total recoveries: 969,111 — Total tested: 38,032,966Map.
  3. Public health: The reality of the coronavirus bites.
  4. Trade: Trump says he's no longer considering phase-two trade deal with China because the pandemic damaged the two countries' relationship.
  5. 🎧 Podcast: Rural America has its own coronavirus problem.
1 hour ago - Health

Reality of the coronavirus bites

National Airport in D.C. Photo: Daniel Slim/AFP/Getty Images

It feels like mid-March in America again. The coronavirus is surging, deaths are climbing and the country is dreading a wave of disruptions, less than four months since the first round started.

The big picture: Lingering under all the happy talk of future plans is the reality of this virus — which thrives in potential super-spreader conditions like mass gatherings.

2 hours ago - Podcasts

Rural America has its own coronavirus problem

It's often easier to socially distance in rural America, but it can simultaneously be more challenging to get medical care.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the pandemic's urban-rural divide with microbiologist Amber Schmidtke, who has found that coronavirus-related morbidity is higher in many of Georgia's rural counties than in Atlanta.