Federal Judges Decline to Scrap Maryland’s Congressional Voting Map

In States, Voting On
Federal judges on Thursday declined to throw out Maryland’s congressional voting map that challengers say was intentionally designed to give Democrats an electoral edge.

The 2-to-1 decision allows the state to maintain those voting boundaries for the 2018 election and puts the lawsuit on hold until after the Supreme Court has ruled in a similar partisan gerrymandering case from Wisconsin scheduled for October.

The challenge in Maryland centers on the 6th Congressional District in Western Maryland that was redrawn to include parts of heavily Democratic Montgomery County. The plaintiffs say the state’s Democratic leaders violated their First Amendment rights by diluting the number of Republican voters and ensuring that a Democrat would win.

All three judges on the panel at a July hearing acknowledged plaintiffs had presented convincing evidence that the state’s Democratic leaders intended to make it easier for their party to pick up another congressional seat. But in their split decision, the judges said it was not enough to warrant the “highly consequential” preliminary injunction the challengers sought.

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