“Judge throws out Maryland congressional map over ‘extreme’ gerrymandering”

Meagan Flynn at the Washington Post:

Maryland judge has thrown out the state’s congressional map, calling it an “extreme partisan gerrymander” in what is a victory for Republicans who said Democrats in the state General Assembly sought to silence their votes.

The ruling Friday by Anne Arundel County Senior Judge [sic; she is a court of appeals judge sitting by designation] Lynne A. Battaglia marks the first time in Maryland history a judge has found a congressional map violated the state constitution, deciding that it violated rules laid out in Maryland law traditionally applied to legislative districts requiring them to be compact and to give regard to political subdivisions. She also ruled that the map in turn violated the state constitution’s equal protection, free speech and free elections clauses.

Battaglia enjoined the map from being used in this year’s primary and general elections in Maryland and ordered the General Assembly to redraw the map by March 30 — a furious deadline for what has often been a weeks-long process.

A copy of the opinion is here.

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