REDISTRICTING SUIT CAN MOVE FORWARD: A lawsuit challenging Maryland’scontorted congressional district map on First Amendment grounds has merit and should go forward, a three-judge federal panel ruled Wednesday, Bill Turque reports in the Post. The map, drawn by Maryland’s Democratic lawmakers following the 2010 Census, essentially ensured that seven of the state’s eight congressional seats would be under their party’s control.
The panel ruled 2-1 that the case can continue. State officials had argued that it should be dismissed. The AP’s Jessica Gresko writes in the Sun that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case late last year, saying it had been improperly dismissed at an early stage. The court said federal law required that the case be heard by a panel of three judges, not the lone judge who initially dismissed the challenge.
Heather Cobun of the Daily Record reports that Gov. Larry Hogan in a statement praised the panel’s ruling and said redistricting reform should not be a partisan issue. Hogan also said he would try again next year to pass legislation in the General Assembly “to end the shameful and partisan gerrymandering practices that have dominated Maryland politics for too long.
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