Congressional map (copy)

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule Thursday on a high-profile case alleging unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering by Democrats in Maryland’s congressional redistricting process.

Gov. Larry Hogan announced Monday he would form an emergency commission to redraw the borders of the 6th Congressional District, which meanders across western Maryland, includes the city of Frederick and stretches down into Montgomery County.

The district map was challenged by seven Republicans, including three from Frederick County, in the U.S. Supreme Court in March for improperly diluting Republican votes. Approximately 66,000 Republicans were removed and 24,000 Democrats added to District 6 during the decennial redistricting in 2011, which may have helped flip a long-held Republican seat to Democratic Rep. John Delaney.

Hogan (R) said it was time for the state to undertake fair redistricting and signed an executive order on Monday to form a nonpartisan commission to redraw District 6.

“Maryland should be leading, but so far we aren’t even following,” Hogan said when announcing the commission.

The state’s congressional map is considered gerrymandered, but the state’s House Rules and Executive Nominations Committee has provided an unfavorable report for the past three years on bills that would guide the redrawing of congressional districts.

Hogan announced he would again submit legislation to the General Assembly to guide statewide redistricting following the 2020 census.

He plans to submit the Redistricting Reform Act of 2019 as emergency legislation, but in the meantime, the Emergency Commission on Sixth Congressional District Gerrymandering will begin to redraw District 6.

The state is on a tight four-month timeline to produce a new map, after a three-person panel of federal judges unanimously ruled that District 6 violated the U.S. Constitution. The court said it would appoint a commission to create a redistricting plan to be used in the 2020 congressional election, if the state did not submit one of its own by March 7.

The new map must be based on “traditional criteria for redistricting” — such as geographic contiguity, compactness and natural boundaries — and may not be drawn with consideration to how residents are registered to vote or the political party to which they belong.

The commission, announced by Hogan, is scheduled to release a revised congressional boundary by March 4 for public comment and to send a finalized map to the General Assembly by April 2.

The commission will be made up of nine members: three registered Democrats, three registered Republicans and three registered voters not affiliated with either party.

Hogan has already appointed three members to the commission. U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams, a registered Democrat, and Walter Olson, a registered Republican and senior fellow at the CATO Institute for Constitutional Studies, will serve as co-chairs of the commission.

League of Women Voters administrator Ashley Oleson, who is unaffiliated, was also appointed by Hogan. The remaining six members will be selected from the public.

The commission’s meetings will be open to the public and live-streamed, according to a press release from the Office of the Governor.

Follow Samantha Hogan on Twitter: @SAHogan.

Samantha Hogan is the state house, environment, agriculture and energy reporter for The Frederick News-Post.

(17) comments

pappyjoe

Don`t have long folks! I`m sorry but it was a hip hop DJ at the Bar tonight and as a Senior I maybe but Yum, Yum, yum when it comes to going into action [beam]Bottom line is: the RED crayons are going to take over the BLUE ones[thumbup]too HEY/Hay or whatever but the BLUE WAVE is going to turn into a LOWER tide than you think see.... as I have said before HOGAN is the POTUS pin pal and suckered the BLUE Wave into voting for him NOW!! for his last term Mr. HOGAN will put nails into the DEMOLITION crews coffin. WoW!!! [wink]

veritas

Go Gov! A Lame Duck with nothing to lose and no need to negotiate. Show the crusty old ruling class iin Annapolis for what they are -- keepers of the single party status quo. Make Maryland Sane Again!!

Comment deleted.
hayduke2

Give factual examples secpol! Not made up stuff!

pappyjoe

Sorry Dick I won`t do a BLUE WAVE because it turns into a TSUNAMI on society and destroys everything in its path [beam]

thirteen

Maryland is one of the few (if not the only) states where Dems managed to do what Reps did across the nation at the beginning of the '10s. No wonder all the red knickers are in a twist over it.

Blueline

NY State has done it for 40 years.

thump1202

Azavea did a study based on geography to identify gerrymandering by oddness of shape. This is hardly the only factor as it doesn't look at demographics but the worst offenders were MD, PA, NY, LA, NC, FL, and TX for the top 10 shady districts. It's one of the few places I'd like to see committees such as hogan's mandated nationwide. This amounts to disenfranchisement and is a crime against our republic.

DickD

Gerrymandering needs to end nation wide, changing Maryland will resolve little. As far Hogan's commission, it will make it's report and Hogan can do what he wants with it, but he does not control the State legislation.

gabrielshorn2013

So Dick, fairness and doing the right thing is relative, and depends upon whose ox is being gored? Maryland is under court order that will inevitably be upheld by SCOTUS. So why the resistance to doing the right thing?

awteam2000

Did you read Dick’s first sentence ,” Gerrymandering needs to end nation wide,...”?

gabrielshorn2013

Sure did, and yes it does. Maryland lost their case, so it should end here now, Frosh has no case for overturning the verdict, and his argument is just a delaying tactic. The aggrieved citizens of Western Maryland took their case to court and won. Since establishment of voting districts are a state issue, the other states with significant Gerrymandering should (and have) done the same, Waiting for everyone else to do what they have already been ordered to is leading from behind. The Governor is trying to do the right thing by appointing a tripartisan commission (3R, 3D, 3I) to get this done. Yet there is resistance. Why?

thump1202

Same old story people would rather have their team win than play fair. The decision may have accelerated future cases but it still took 3 elections to be ruled on and who knows how much in legal fees for the plaintiffs. It'll be interesting to see if the rulings will do anything for similar cases.

DickD

Gabriel, you Republicans keep arguing fairness, what would be fairer than applying the court ruling nation wide. You Republicans just want your cake and eat it too.

gabrielshorn2013

I keep telling you Dick, I'm not a Republican. You know, there are more than two parties. Furthermore, you and I live in Maryland, not another state. The effected residents of those states must fight back the way western Marylanders did. There is no excuse for not complying with the court order. The Governor is bending over backwards to make this fair by appointing 3R, 3D, and 3I.

DickD

Okay, Gabriel, you may not be Republican, but you sure aren't Democrat. Yes, we live in Maryland, but Maryland is trying to level the playing field. I see nothing wrong with that and the more Maryland fights it, the more likely it will go to the SCOTUS for resolution of all.

pappyjoe

Well the Pubs are getting their RED crayon out but first an eraser is needed to take out the BLUE[cool]

DickD

Be careful Pappy, you could drown in that blue wave.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, insights and experiences, not personal attacks. Ad hominem criticisms are not allowed. Focus on ideas instead.
TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
No trolls. Off-topic comments and comments that bait others are not allowed.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
Say it once. No repeat or repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.