ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WDVM) — An Anne Arundel County, Maryland circuit court judge heard arguments Wednesday over the state’s congressional maps. Are they gerrymandered, drawn for political advantage?
Generally, courts defer to legislatures in drawing these lines unless blatant racial discrimination. But two plaintiffs — the conservative legal group, Judicial Watch, based in the Nation’s Capital, and Fair Maps Maryland, the group supported by Gov. Larry Hogan, said the maps approved in a December special session are blatantly political, drawing the district for the state’s lone Republican congressman, Andy Harris from the Eastern Shore, in such a way that it wrongly dilutes his political base.
“It’s sad the way the legislature drew these maps,” said Delegate Neil Parrott (R – Washington County). “It doesn’t make sense. It needs to be thrown out, and unfortunately, we have to go to the courts. I wish the legislature would have just listened to reason. Gov. Hogan put together a citizens commission that came out with a very fair congressional map. Everybody thought it was fair. But they just didn’t want to hear it. They wanted to make a very partisan map.”
Now Delegate Parrott was in the courtroom Wednesday. He is a declared candidate for the congressional seat held by Democrat incumbent David Trone. A court ruling could come as early as next week.