On December 21, 2021, a coalition of civil and voting rights organizations and Maryland voters filed a federal lawsuit against Baltimore County, the members of the Baltimore County Council, and the Baltimore County Board of Elections challenging Baltimore County's enacted County Council redistricting plan as violating the federal Voting Rights Act. Specifically, plaintiffs allege the enacted plan violates Section 2 of the VRA because it results in the dilution of Black voters' voting strength by drawing only one majority-Black council district when two could have been drawn. They sought a declaratory judgment that the plan violated the VRA, an injunction barring the defendants from implementing or using the plan in future elections, and a court order requiring the County Council to adopt a new plan which complied with the VRA.

The plaintiffs filed a motion for a preliminary injunction on January 19, 2022, which the district court granted on February 22. The court's order barred the defendants from using the new plan in future elections and directed the County to adopt a new plan containing two majority-Black districts or an additional district in which Black voters otherwise have an opportunity to elect a representative of their choice and file it with the court by March 8, 2022. The County submitted its proposed new plan to the court on March 8. The court approved the County's remedial plan on March 25, 2022.

On May 9, with the agreement of both parties, the court dismissed the case without prejudice to the plaintiffs' filing a new challenge to the remedial map after the July 19, 2022 election if they determine that such challenge is warranted.


U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Northern Division - No. 1:21-cv-3232