Depending on whom you ask, the nine Supreme Court justices dealt Maryland a blow Thursday when they decided that the federal court did not have jurisdiction over gerrymandering.

The Supreme Court decided Thursday, in a 5-4 vote, that they could not decide if the map of the 6th Congressional District in Maryland or a map in North Carolina was unfairly drawn to give an advantage to one political party over the other.

Walter Olson, a Frederick County resident who served as co-chair of Gov. Larry Hogan’s Redistricting Reform Commission, was in Washington, D.C., for the decision and called it “disappointing.”

“I’m going to say that we are all losers because a fairer system benefits both parties,” Olson said.

Olson spoke with Frederick Uncut producers Heather Mongilio and Allen Etzler about the Supreme Court’s decision and what it means for the state.

“If it weren’t for the states behaving so badly on this, we wouldn’t be here talking about remedies,” Olson said. “So really, even though Congress is where I would like to point, the real ultimate failing is that of state legislatures who are being self-serving, both when they draw their own legislative districts, as plain a conflict of interest as they can be stepping into, and also when they devise districts in the U.S. House of Representatives in order to pursue politics as they do.”

Later in the episode, Etzler and Mongilio speak with Paul Milton, the new editor of The Frederick News-Post. Milton reflects on the importance of journalism and the role of community newspapers.

Then, features editor Mallory Panuska joins the producers to talk about the upcoming issue of 72 Hours, including a preview of an article by county government reporter Steve Bohnel on some of the local dive bars.

A new episode of Frederick Uncut comes out every Tuesday.

Podcasts are posted on and are available via iTunes, Google Play and other podcast apps.

Follow Heather Mongilio on Twitter: @HMongilio.

Heather Mongilio is the health and Fort Detrick reporter for the Frederick News-Post. She can be reached at

(2) comments


We definitely need a better way to define districts. What that way is I do not know.


Through its various rulings, the Supreme Court has basically said it's ok to disenfranchise voters as long as they are not in a federally recognized protected group.

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