On December 21, 2021, a group of Maryland Voters filed a state lawsuit against the State Administrator and Chair of the Maryland State Board of Elections, challenging the state's enacted congressional redistricting plan as violating the Maryland Constitution and Declaration of Rights. Plaintiffs allege that the enacted congressional plan is a partisan gerrymander designed to favor Democrats and disfavor Republicans and to achieve this partisan result, the General Assembly drew incredibly noncompact districts that fail to respect geographic and political boundaries. They assert that the plan's highly irregular districts drawn for partisan advantage harms the plaintiffs' and other Republican voters' ability to cast a meaningful and effective vote as compared to other voters, their constitutional right to speak and express their views to legislators, and imposes additional burdens on Republican candidates running for office, and in doing so, violates Article 7 of the Maryland Declaration of Rights, which provides that "elections ought to be free and frequent" and that "every [qualified] citizen . . . ought to have the right of suffrage." Additionally, plaintiffs assert that the plan violates the requirements of Article III, Section 4 of the Maryland Constitution that legislative districts be compact and give "due regard" to natural and political subdivision boundaries. Although this provision refers only to "legislative districts," plaintiffs assert that the drafters intended this term to encompass both congressional and legislative districts, citing the existence of other state constitutional redistricting provisions that explicitly direct their application to "legislative districts for the election of members of the Senate and the House of Delegates." Plaintiffs are seeking a declaratory judgment that the enacted congressional plan is unconstitutional, a temporary and permanent injunction barring the defendants from holding any future elections using the plan, and a court order directing the state to either adopt a new, non-partisan redistricting plan prior to the 2022 primary election or, in the alternative, to use the Maryland Citizen Redistricting Commission's recommended congressional plan for the 2022 primary election.
Maryland Circuit Court, Anne Arundel County - No. C02CV21001773
- Complaint - 12/21/21