ADVERTISEMENT

Republicans sue to block new congressional map in Maryland

December 23, 2021 GMT

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A group of Republican legislators and voters filed a lawsuit Thursday to block implementation of Maryland’s new congressional map, arguing that it’s an extreme example of Democratic gerrymandering.

A group called Fair Maps Maryland filed the lawsuit in Annapolis on behalf of plaintiffs including Republican delegates Kathryn Szeliga and Christopher Adams. The suit says the new maps approved earlier this month by the state legislature violate the state constitution by creating an unfair advantage for Democrats.

The legislature, overwhelmingly controlled by Democrats, rejected maps submitted by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan that were based on the work of a citizen redistricting committee. The legislature’s maps were vetoed by Hogan, but the legislature overrode his veto.

Democrats currently hold seven of the state’s eight congressional seats. Analysts say the maps approved by the legislature will give Democrats at least a shot at winning the eighth district now held by Republican Andy Harris.

ADVERTISEMENT

The maps proposed by Hogan would have given Republicans a shot at winning at least two districts.

The lawsuit filed Thursday comes a day after the conservative legal group Judicial Watch filed a similar lawsuit.

The suits challenge the maps under the state constitution; in 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that claims of partisan gerrymandering are political questions beyond the reach of federal courts.