The lawsuit claims that Maryland’s new congressional maps all but ensure “predetermined” Democratic victories.
A conservative advocacy group has filed a lawsuit against Maryland’s new congressional districts map.
According to The Baltimore Sun, Fair Maps Maryland—allied with state Gov. Larry Hogan—filed its lawsuit on Thursday, alleging that the new map is “filled with grotesque examples of extreme partisan gerrymandering” and is therefore in violation of the state constitution.
The Sun notes that Fair Maps Maryland’s lawsuit is the second complaint filed against the re-districting filed in two days.
Doug Mayer, an adviser for Gov. Hogan as well as a spokesperson for Fair Maps Maryland, suggested that state Democrats conspired to create elections maps with minimal oversight.
“The Maryland General Assembly created these illegal maps in dark backrooms and now they will be forced to defend them in a court of law,” Mayer said. “These Marylanders are victims of electoral corruption and blatant voter suppression, and this lawsuit is their only remedy to undo the damage the General Assembly has perpetuated against them for decades.”
Both lawsuits—Fair Map Maryland’s, as well as that filed by Judicial Watch on Wednesday—note that the Maryland Constitution sets requirements for district boundaries, saying they must be compact, respecting county and natural borders.
However, the Baltimore Sun observes that the state constitution makes no specific reference to congressional districts.
The Fair Maps Maryland complaint, adds the Sun, claims that the map violates the state’s constitutional requirement for “free and frequent elections,” because the map is allegedly designed to benefit Democratic candidates and will therefore “predetermine election outcomes in Maryland’s congressional districts.”
“Through intentional partisan manipulation, it cracks Republican voters across Maryland, including Plaintiffs, in a way which ensures that Republicans do not have a vote share majority in any congressional district,” the lawsuit says. “Thus, the 2021 Plan intentionally dilutes the voting power of Plaintiffs and renders their votes nearly meaningless in congressional elections.”
Democratic lawmakers, however, told the Sun that the new congressional districts map keeps most voters in the same districts they were in before; they also say their alterations ensure that districts remain politically competitive.
Gov. Hogan has, in the meantime, established his own, Republican-led Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission, which created an alternate map with “neat” district divisions and fewer boundaries crossing county lines.
Hogan’s map, says the Sun, did not garner substantial support in the state’s Democrat-dominated General Assembly.
Fair Maps Maryland is now asking that an Anne Arundel County Circuit Court judge to declare the new congressional map invalid, and to postpone candidate filing deadlines until a new, legal map can be approved.