Partisanship in MD Gerrymander Case

Jul 17, 2017

Credit Joe Gratz / creative commons

BALTIMORE (AP) - Federal judges reviewing Maryland's congressional redistricting map say there is convincing evidence the state's Democratic leaders drew the districts to gain a seat for their party.

A three-judge panel heard arguments Friday as part of a lawsuit.

The panel was divided about whether the 2011 redistricting plan directly caused former Republican Rep. Roscoe Bartlett to lose his seat and whether the map should be changed.

The Maryland attorney general's office says Bartlett was having trouble raising money. The attorney general also notes that Rep. John Delaney, the Democrat who defeated Bartlett, had a close race in 2014.

There also are questions about how the Supreme Court's decision to take a Wisconsin redistricting case will affect the Maryland case.

The judges didn't indicate when they will rule in the Maryland case.

Rally

1812 Gerrymander Cartoon
Credit historical cartoon

BALTIMORE (AP) - Supporters of congressional redistricting reform held an event known as the "Gerrymander Meander."

The event Sunday afternoon at four different restaurants was a play on the word gerrymandering, which is the practice of one political party crafting the boundaries of congressional districts to favor their candidates based on how people vote in different areas.

The term comes from a Massachusetts state Senate district that resembled a salamander and was approved in 1812 by Massachusetts Gov. Elbridge Gerry. The event is being held the day before the day of Gerry's birth on July 17, 1774.

Participants took a tour of four restaurants over 13 miles that still go through four different congressional districts.

Critics say Maryland has some of the most gerrymandered congressional districts in the state.