WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last Thursday, Dec. 23, another lawsuit was filed challenging Maryland’s new congressional map enacted following the release of 2020 census data. This lawsuit, filed on behalf of two Republican House of Delegates members and multiple Republican voters, alleges that the new congressional map is a partisan gerrymander that favors Democrats and dilutes the voting strength of Republicans in violation of the Maryland Constitution. This is the second lawsuit filed against the new map; a lawsuit brought by a group of Republican voters was also filed last week.
This lawsuit, sponsored by Fair Maps Maryland, argues that the new congressional map dilutes the votes of Republicans across the state, discriminating against the Republican plaintiffs “on the basis of their political views” and therefore violating “their basic civil liberties.” The plaintiffs point to analysis by the Princeton Gerrymandering Project that concludes that “Democrats now have an estimated vote share advantage in every single Maryland congressional district,” meaning all eight districts may be held by Democrats. The plaintiffs argue that the Democratic map drawers redrew the 1st Congressional District — currently held by Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) — to weaken Republican electoral chances of re-election. While the plaintiffs assert that the new map results in eight safe Democratic seats, other sources, such as FiveThirtyEight, predict the map will be split into seven safe Democratic seats and one highly competitive seat (currently held by Harris). The lawsuit asks the state court to block the use of the new map for future elections and delay future elections, if needed, until the General Assembly can enact a new, fair map.