Fair Maps Maryland, a nonpartisan organization founded to eliminate partisan gerrymandering, filed suit Thursday to stop the implementation of the Maryland General Assembly’s proposed 2022 Congressional map.
The lawsuit alleges that the map, passed along party lines by the Democratic supermajority in the General Assembly, violates the Maryland state constitution and Declaration of Rights. State Democratic lawmakers approved a map over Republican objections that solidifies Democratic control of seven of the state’s eight Congressional districts, and makes the single Republican district more competitive.
Hogan ripped the “disgracefully illegal gerrymandered maps” after Democratic legislators overrode his Dec. 8 veto, then called on Attorney General Merrick Garland to sue the state for civil-rights violations. https://t.co/5vmOtstBky
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) December 23, 2021
“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,” Fair Maps Maryland spokesman Doug 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.”
Republican Gov. Larry Hogan created an independent commission which drew more balanced maps, according to independent expert analyses, but the legislature opted instead to vote for the gerrymandered maps granting Democrats an advantage.
Former President Donald Trump won 32% of the vote in Maryland in 2020, and Hogan won 55% of the vote when he won re-election in 2018. Still, the state only has one Republican member of Congress and would be at risk of having zero under the newly approved map. (RELATED: Official Behind Gerrymandered Democrat Maps Was Previously Accused Of Discrimination Against Black Staffers)
Hogan has called for federal intervention from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Attorney General Merrick Garland, who is suing the state of Texas over its newly-proposed Congressional maps for 2022. However, the Biden DOJ has done little to combat gerrymandering and voting rights violations in blue states, instead focusing its efforts on election laws and redistricting in red states.