And, a decision is expected by January 2012.
From AFRO (Hat tip: Doug):
A challenge to Gov. Martin O’Malley’s new redistricting plan is moving forward in federal court after a judge countered the argument of Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler.
Several groups have accused O’Malley of racially gerrymandering districts for the greater gain of the Democratic Party in state and federal elections. One of those people, state Sen. C. Anthony Muse,* D.-Dist. 26, says the plan introduced by O’Malley was unfair to many of Maryland’s most vulnerable citizens.
“I believe this plan is absolutely wrong and unfair to the voiceless citizens of our state who expect redistricting to provide culturally diverse communities the opportunity to be represented both efficiently and effectively,” said Muse in a statement. “I have remained strong in my position that this plan does not reflect the best interest of the people I was sent here to represent. It pits the party against the people.”
Another group opposing the plan is the Fannie Lou Hamer Political Action Committee (FLH-PAC) of Prince George’s County. This group agrees with Muse that the state’s plan does not represent the best interests of Maryland residents, especially those of color.
Oh, the irony!
Gansler [a Democrat of course with gubernatorial aspirations!---ed] disagrees with the claims though. He tried to get the claim dismissed saying that the groups failed to show legitimate proof that the new map discriminated against minorities.
The decision will have to be made quickly or Maryland’s April primary date will have to be changed.
A hearing before a three-judge court has been scheduled for Dec. 20. Judge Roger Titus hopes to have a decision made by Jan. 2012.
* I reported here a few days ago that Senator Muse is thinking about challenging US Senator Ben Cardin in the Democrat primary.