A judge Friday rejected Maryland's state congressional district political map, saying the General Assembly-approved map was "a product of extreme partisan gerrymandering."
In her decision, Judge Lynne A. Battaglia said the map "fails to pass constitutional muster."
She said the congressional district map was drawn "with partisanship as a predominant intent."
Two Republican groups challenged the map and the judge's decision agreed that Republican voters and candidates "are substantially adversely impacted" by the map.
The judge urged Maryland lawmakers to come up with a new congressional district plan that abides by Maryland's constitution.
Fair Maps Maryland, an anti-gerrymandering group linked to GOP Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, was one of the challengers of the map.
"To call this a big deal would be the understatement of the century. Judge Battaglia's ruling confirms what we have all known for years -- Maryland is ground zero for gerrymandering, our districts and political reality reek of it, and there is abundant proof that it is occurring," Fair Maps Maryland spokesman Doug Mayer said in a statement.
The judge's decision could be appealed to Maryland's Court of Appeals.
The current Maryland gerrymandering is particularly vicious, and the Democrat plan goes a step farther by grafting a piece Annapolis onto the Eastern Shore in an attempt to eliminate the another Republican representative. You can see the various maps in contention at this old post.
I'm generally of the opinion that gerrymandering should be left to the legislatures, and not judges. Unfortunately, the way it tends to play out in court is that Democrat gerrymandering is permitted to stand as merely political, while Republican gerrymandering is overturned on racial grounds. It's good to see courts pushing back.
Linked at The Daley Gator in this weeks SUNDAY LINKAGE!!