redistricting

Don Rush

BALTIMORE (AP) - A special three-judge panel is hearing arguments in a lawsuit challenging Maryland's congressional districts map.

The case being heard Tuesday was filed in June 2015 and argues that Maryland's map violates the U.S. Constitution. The lawsuit seeks to have the maps, which were redrawn in 2011, declared unconstitutional.

The hearing in federal court in Baltimore is a result of a U.S. Supreme Court case decided late last year. The case said that certain cases can't be thrown out by a single judge but must first be heard by a three-judge panel.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Supreme Court will consider whether current and former state senators need to provide records related to a redistricting lawsuit.

Redistricting advocates have sought lawmakers' communications with outside consultants related to the 2011 redistricting. The lawmakers have refused and a lower court judge has ruled the lawmakers are in contempt.

The Daily Press reports the high court's decision to take the case was announced Wednesday. The decision means the issue will skip the Virginia Court of Appeals.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A judge has ruled that current and former Virginia state senators are in contempt for not providing records related to a redistricting lawsuit.

W. Reilly Marchant ruled Thursday that each senator in contempt should be assessed a $100-a-day fine but suspended the fines until an appeals court weighs in.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia state senators are pushing to keep secret any communications they had with outside consultants as part of an ongoing legal battle over redistricting.
 
The Daily Press reports that a bipartisan group of senators want the Virginia Supreme Court to rule on whether lawmakers have to disclose communications with consultants.
 

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court is signaling it probably will reject a Republican appeal over congressional districts in Virginia.
 
The court's liberal justices sounded skeptical Monday about a challenge brought by Republican members of Congress who want the Supreme Court to reinstate a districting map that had been tossed out by a lower court.
 
The lower court said Virginia illegally packed black voters into one district to make adjacent districts safer for Republican incumbents.
 
A 4-4 tie would uphold the lower court ruling.
 
 

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The plan for school redistricting for the Wilmington/Christina area has survived another hurdle.

The Wilmington Education Improvement Commission approved shifting Wilmington students from the Christina School District to the Red Clay Consolidated School District.

The move that would allow students to go to a school closer to home came at the suggestion of Governor Jack Markell.

The News Journal reports that the State Board has to approve the plan along with a vote in the General Assembly.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Maryland residents challenging their state's 2011 redrawing of its congressional districts are adding more plaintiffs to their case.

A motion submitted in the case Tuesday adds six new plaintiffs to the original three. The case was initially thrown out, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in December that was premature.

governor's office

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Republican Gov. Larry Hogan is sounding a bipartisan tone in his annual State of the State speech.

"Let us blaze that new path for Maryland with the full knowledge that people of this great state stand firmly behind us. Let's work together to come up with real bipartisan common sense solutions. And let us continue to embrace that middle temperment."

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan is scheduled to deliver his second State of the State speech.

The Republican governor is set to address a joint session of the Maryland General Assembly on Wednesday at noon.

The speech gives the governor a chance to pull together his goals for the legislative session and make a pitch to the legislature, which is controlled by Democrats.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a request from Virginia's congressional Republicans to put a new congressional map on hold and allow the 2016 elections to proceed under the old boundaries.

The high court issued its denial Monday.

Republicans are also asking the court to reverse a decision by a three-judge panel that said lawmakers in 2012 illegally packed too many black voters into the 3rd Congressional District. The court is set to hear arguments March 21.

wikipedia

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court will soon hear arguments in the case over Virginia's congressional map.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that arguments before the high court have been set for March 21.

The court has agreed to take up an appeal by Republicans in Virginia's congressional delegation. They're asking the court to reverse a decision by a three-judge panel that said lawmakers in 2012 illegally packed too many black voters into the 3rd Congressional District.

wikipedia

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Republicans are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to put a new congressional map for Virginia on hold and allow the 2016 elections to proceed under the old boundaries.

A three-judge panel last week ordered the state to impose a new redistricting plan crafted by a court-appointed expert. The panel had previously ruled that lawmakers in 2012 illegally packed black voters into the 3rd Congressional District, represented by Democrat Bobby Scott, to make surrounding districts safer for GOP incumbents.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A federal court has picked a new congressional map for Virginia that could be in place for this year's election.

A three-judge panel on Thursday ordered the state to implement a new redistricting plan suggested by a special expert.

Last year the panel concluded for a second time that legislators in 2012 illegally packed black voters into one district in order to make adjacent districts safer for Republican incumbents.

wikipedia

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A federal judge has suggested a conditional fix for redrawing Virginia's congressional map.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that U.S. District Judge Robert E. Payne made the suggestion during a hearing on Monday. Payne is a member of a three-judge panel that twice ruled legislators in 2012 illegally packed voters into the 3rd congressional district in order to make adjacent districts safer for Republican incumbents.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court has unanimously sided with Maryland residents who say a judge prematurely threw out their challenge to the state's 2011 redrawing of its congressional districts
 
The court ruled Tuesday that federal law requires that the Maryland case be heard by a panel of three judges, not the lone judge who dismissed the challenge.
 
Justice Antonin Scalia said the law "could not be clearer."
 

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Maryland residents arguing that their lawsuit over the state's 2011 redrawing of its congressional districts was thrown out prematurely seemed to find some sympathy with justices at the U.S. Supreme Court.

During oral arguments Wednesday, the residents' lawyer asked the Supreme Court to agree that that the lawsuit should have been forwarded to a three-judge panel, not dismissed by a single judge.

Don Rush

Mayor-elect Jake Day will be taking the helm in the wake of yesterday’s city election which also saw a dramatic change in the city council.

Day ran unopposed as did council vice president Laura Mitchell.

The Mayor-elect said, “This is going to be a different council and they’re all going to have to work together. I am excited for them. They have to be a team. And, we have to be a team as a city.

For voters there was a myriad of issues on their minds:

smithsonian

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A panel is recommending Maryland reform its congressional and state legislative redistricting process by creating an independent commission to draw the districts.
 
The panel sent recommendations on Tuesday to Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican who appointed them to explore reforms.
 
The commission would have nine members. Three of them would be affiliated with the Democratic Party, and three would be affiliated with the Republican Party. Three others would not be associated with either party.
 

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WASHINGTON (AP) - A 55-year-old law school student from Maryland is having his case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.
 
Stephen Shapiro's case began with his frustration over the way Maryland redrew the state's eight Congressional districts in 2011. The American University law school student sees the shapes of some of the state's districts as nonsensical. But several months after he sued over the districts in 2013 a judge threw the lawsuit out, ruling it wasn't based on a valid legal theory.
 

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A group of Virginians who unsuccessfully challenged the state's legislative boundaries in federal court is appealing a recent ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The group, which is backed by lawyers who frequently work for the Democratic Party, filed its notice of appeal Monday.

Last week a panel of federal judges rejected the allegations that the Republican-led Virginia House of Delegates illegally packed black voters into a dozen legislative districts.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A panel of federal judges has rejected a lawsuit alleging that the Virginia House of Delegates illegally packed black voters into a dozen legislative districts.

The judges ruled 2-1 Thursday that the House redistricting plan approved in 2011 was constitutional and did not improperly gerrymander the legislative map to concentrate African Americans into 12 legislative districts and diminish black voters' influence in the rest of the state.

Don Rush

The U.S. District Court in Baltimore accepted the new redistricting plan yesterday for Salisbury in which there are five council districts -- two of which are predominantly African American.

The original majority-minority District 1 now has three candidates vying for the seat in this year’s election and the new majority-minority District 2 has four.

Mayor Jim Ireton called the ruling “a well-deserved moment for our city” because it was not forced on the city but rather enacted by the City Council.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is asking state lawmakers to meet in Richmond next week to hammer out a consensus on new congressional districts.

The Democratic governor sent a letter to legislative leaders Tuesday asking them to work together in a nonpartisan and transparent way to redraw Virginia's congressional maps ahead of a court-ordered special session on redistricting set for Aug. 17.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe has set a tentative date for a court-ordered special legislative session to redraw Virginia's congressional boundaries.
 
McAuliffe's office said Tuesday the governor has informed leaders of the GOP-controlled General Assembly that he intends to call a special session on Aug. 17.
 
A 2-1 ruling in June by a panel of judges directed the General Assembly to draw new boundaries by Sept. 1 to correct a 2012 redistricting plan the court found used race as the predominant factor in drawing boundaries.
 

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - The chief architect of a Republican legislative redistricting plan says race was just one of many factors used to redraw boundaries in Virginia's House of Delegates.

Delegate Chris Jones of Suffolk testified Wednesday in federal court in Alexandria. The GOP-controlled House of Delegates is defending itself in a lawsuit that alleges the 2011 redistricting unconstitutionally packed black voters into 12 legislative districts.

The lawsuit claims that packing black voters into those districts limited their influence in the rest of the state.

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - The chief architect of a Republican legislative redistricting plan is expected to testify in a lawsuit that claims the plan unconstitutionally packs black voters into a dozen legislative districts.

Delegate Chris Jones of Suffolk is expected to take the stand Wednesday in federal court in Alexandria and defend the plan. Jones led efforts in 2011 to redraw that state's legislative boundaries for the 100-member House of Delegates.

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WASHINGTON (AP)- The Supreme Court will decide whether it was proper for a single federal judge to throw out a lawsuit challenging Maryland's 2011 congressional redistricting plan.

The justices on Monday agreed to hear an appeal from a group of Maryland residents who say their First Amendment challenge should have been reviewed by a three-judge panel.

Federal law requires a special panel of three judges to hear constitutional redistricting cases unless a single judge who initially considers the case decides it is frivolous or "obviously without merit."

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Salisbury residents will honor the late community activist Billy Gene Jackson who died last week at the age of 77.

There will be a candle light vigil at 7 p.m. on June 5th  at the park that is named after him.

The following day on June 6h a memorial service will be held at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center.

An activist as far back as the 1960’s Jackson initiated a lawsuit in 1987 that ultimately required Salisbury to include its first black city council member.

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Governor Larry Hogan laid out an ambitious plan in his first state of the state address beginning with a promise to begin his efforts to bring tax relief to Marylanders.

The Republican blamed high taxes, over regulation and an anti-business atmosphere for the struggling state economy.

Hogan’s tax program ranged from repealing income taxes on pensions for retired military, police, fire and first responders to doing away with automatic increase in the gas tax and a cut in personal property taxes for small business.

Don Rush

In 2015 the ballot voters see in Salisbury could look much different than in the past.

Aside from all five seats and the Mayor being up for election, under a new redistricting plan they would only be voting for one city council member.

That’s the result of a vote last night by the City Council to divide the city up into five separate districts with two minority-majority districts.

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