Republican redistricters in 2011 should have placed Allentown and Bethlehem in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/East Stroudsburg/Easton PA-17 to make it even more Democrat (and thus make the PA-15, PA-10 and PA-11 safely Republican), but they wanted to place conservative Schuylkill County in the PA-17 because it was Democrat Congressman Holden’s home base (and they were afraid that he’d win even a GOP-leaning CD that included Schuylkill, as he had done in 2002 when he beat Congressman Gekas) and thus drew a CD that wasn’t all that heavily Democrat. The PA-17 actually voted for Trump due to the swing towards him on the part of blue-collar white voters in Anthracite Country.
But given that the PA Supreme Court has thrown out the 2011 maps under the ridiculous theory that taking politics into account invalidates districts created by a state legislature, the PA Legislature should have taken the opportunity to unpack the PA-17 and draw separate, comfortably Trump-majority CDs based in each of Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Allentown, and Bethlehem. Sure, Gov. Wolf was likely to disapprove of the maps, but we know that he would oppose whatever map the PA legislature presented.