VIDEO | Md. Congressional Map Becomes Law, But What’s Next?
“A tremendous victory for Democracy” is how Maryland Governor Larry Hogan described the development that led to final enactment of a Congressional district map.
Hogan, House Speaker Adrienne Jones and Senate President Bill Ferguson signed the legislation creating the map into law after Democratic Attorney General Brian Frosh dropped an appeal of a court ruling that tossed out the previous map.
“When these maps came out in December, I said they were unconstitutional and violated the law. The courts agreed, described it as extreme partisan gerrymandering, and a clear violation of the Constitution, ordered the legislature to go back and draw new maps, which they did. Now they weren’t, in my opinion, as good as the ones drawn by the citizen commission, and we shouldn’t have wasted so much time—but they are a huge improvement,” Hogan said. “It’s a huge victory. The plaintiffs agreed to drop their appeal. There was an attempt to say we will draw new maps, but we still want to go back to the gerrymandered unconstitutional maps and we’ll take it to another court. They decided to drop those attempts, and now it’s the law of the land.”
Earlier Monday, Frosh released a statement:
“We are pleased Governor Hogan has agreed to sign the proposed congressional redistricting map approved by the General Assembly. This map, like the one previously passed by the General Assembly, is Constitutional and fair. Both sides have agreed to dismiss their appeals, and our state can move forward to the primary election.”
Fair Maps Maryland, a group with connections to the Governor, said this “ends the days of Maryland being known for some of the worst gerrymandered districts in the country.”
“This has been a long time coming but we finally have Congressional districts that don’t look like prehistoric animals and aren’t specifically designed to suppress Marylander’s right to vote. Make no mistake, this outcome is not what the leadership of the Maryland General Assembly wanted – which is why it’s the best outcome for Marylanders,” Fair Maps Maryland Spokesman Doug Mayer said. “While this map isn’t perfect it’s a tremendous improvement from the absolute unconstitutional disaster we started with late last year. Our full attention is now on the legislative districts which are just as bad or even worse than the original Congressional districts. Fair Maps Maryland was started to end gerrymandering in Maryland, we are halfway home.”