Posted by: Ann Corcoran | November 22, 2011

Case against O’Malley gerrymander may go forward, could change MD primary date

Well, here is a little bit of good news (hat tip: Doug)!   According to the Washington Post late yesterday, a US District court judge has ruled that the case against the Democrats’ redistricting map for Maryland may go forward.

From the WaPo:

A group of African Americans seeking to overturn Maryland’s congressional map on grounds that Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) and the state legislature racially gerrymandered lines to help elect Democrats won an initial victory in court Monday.

U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus rebuffed an argument to dismiss the case from Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D) and sided with the group that a three-judge panel should be seated to hear the case.

Titus said he would immediately notify the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The chief judge could still decide not to grant a three-judge panel, but the development suggested the state may have to fully justify its map before the court.

O’Malley and the state’s Democratic controlled legislature significantly altered lines in Montgomery County, drawing on the Washington region’s surging minority population to make the district held by the state’s senior Republican, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, majority Democrat. Plaintiffs argue that in doing so, Democrats also diluted to voting strength of minorities.

If the plaintiffs next get their way, the timing of Maryland’s April 3 congressional primary could become an issue.

The plaintiffs, who are backed by the Fannie Lou Hamer Political Action Committee and Republicans, want a trial to begin in January.

A lengthier discussion of the same good news is here at the Maryland Reporter.

Keep your fingers crossed!

This crazy map and O’Malley’s war on rural Maryland was the main topic of discussion this past Saturday in Washington County, here.


  1. This is certainly good news, but this whole thing is somewhat confusing to me. For example, let’s assume that “we the people” win the court case, then what? Does O’malley get another shot at drawing a new map, or do we automatically revert back to the lines drawn as they were before the new map came into being?

    Another point: no matter who wins the 1st round, it will likely be appealled, which may mean that the maryland primary election will have to wait until the issue is settled, right?

    • I know its confusing. The other day at the GOP central committee meeting at Dimensions, we learned that the court can actually create a new map, or send it back, or approve it with some changes. The part that is still not clear to me is which map will be in effect come primary day if the court drags on…however it sounded like the court would have to act expeditiously in any case.

  2. I forgot to mention this: Attorney General Douglas Gansler (left wng liberal democrat) was ELECTED to office, and can be UNELECTED as well. We need to start a campaign!

    • Yes, Gansler has to run for election and he ran at the same time that Brian Murphy and Ehrlich were vying for the Republican nomination for governor, just in 2010. HOWEVER, in its ineptness (or worse) the MD GOP ran NO ONE against him when there was a candidate ready and willing but the MD GOP screwed up the paperwork somehow. If you search Gansler here at PTPR you will find a post or two about that debacle.

  3. […] three-judge panel has dismissed a case that challenged Governor O’Malley’s Congressional redistricting map—the one that creates districts looking like spider veins(!) and which puts large numbers of […]

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