Maryland Gerrymandering Slammed With New Lawsuit By Citizens

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Concerned Citizens Sue Over Maryland Gerrymandering That Strong-Arms Republicans

Judicial Watch announced that it has filed a lawsuit concerning the Maryland gerrymandering on behalf of 12 registered Maryland voters who oppose the state's 2021 congressional redistricting plan on the grounds that it violates their constitutional right to vote in elections for the United States Congress on an equal footing with other Maryland voters.

The lawsuit alleges that on November 5, a nonpartisan panel submitted a plan to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, which he accepted. Nonetheless, the Maryland legislature ratified a different Maryland gerrymandering map on a party-line vote. Hogan vetoed this measure on December 9, 2021, but the Maryland state legislature overrode his veto the same day with another party-line vote.

According to Judicial Watch's Maryland gerrymandering case, the new map "is similar to the gerrymandered map that was widely criticized ten years ago as the worst gerrymander in the country." The complaint outlines how the map distorts district boundaries, departs from and crosses established political borders, and splits and separates communities of interest.

They state in their Maryland gerrymandering case:

"Maryland’s recent history of partisan gerrymandering is no secret. [its 2011] congressional district map…remains one of the most notorious partisan gerrymanders in U.S. history. A federal district judge openly doubted that it could provide 'fair and effective representation for all citizens.' Another called it 'absurd' to suggest ‘that there is a community of interest' in a district described as a 'Rorschach-like eyesore.' [A federal appeals court] famously described the same district as 'a broken-winged pterodactyl, lying prostrate across the center of the state.'"

Experts Prove Maryland Gerrymandering Keeps Maryland Democrat

Judicial Watch revealed the Maryland gerrymandering map violates Maryland's Declaration of Rights in Article 7, which provides voters the right to "free and frequent" elections and the "right to suffrage." Article 7 has been judged to be "even more protective of political participation rights than the US Constitution's provisions."

Additionally, the new Maryland gerrymandering violates Article III, Section 4 of the Maryland Constitution, which states that "each legislative district shall consist of adjoining territory, be compact in form, and of substantially equal population. Due regard shall be given to natural boundaries and the boundaries of political subdivisions.”

Experts also concur that the Maryland gerrymandering plan is defective, with the plan receiving a "F" for fairness and geographic compactness by the impartial Princeton Gerrymandering Project. The proof? Republicans won around 35% of Maryland's congressional votes in 2020, but are unlikely to win even one seat under the new Maryland gerrymandering map. Without Democrat gerrymandering, this conclusion would not be feasible. All of the Congressional Representatives will be Democrat under the new Maryland gerrymandering map despite more than 1 in 3 Maryland voters being Republican.

Judicial Watch also filed a lawsuit in federal court in June 2015 contesting the validity of Maryland's gerrymandered congressional district plan. The action was brought on behalf of voters in each of Maryland's congressional districts — including Maryland Delegate Neil Parrott, who is also the lead plaintiff in this current Maryland gerrymandering case. Judicial Watch also submitted a brief before the United States Supreme Court in December 2016 in opposition to Maryland's bid to keep the gerrymandered voting districting scheme.

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