Maryland court blocks effort by Dem campaign committee to defend gerrymandered congressional map

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The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s (DCCC) attempt to defend Maryland’s gerrymandered congressional map was blocked last week by a state court, a blow to the group that was being represented by Democrat attorney Marc Elias.


The Anne Arundel County Circuit Court denied the DCCC motion to intervene as a defendant in the case on Friday. If that motion was granted, it would have allowed the group to effectively take over the defense of the state’s congressional map from the Maryland State Board of Elections in a lawsuit brought by several GOP candidates and the group Fair Maps Maryland.

The Democrat supermajority in the Maryland state legislature overrode a veto by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan to implement a gerrymandered congressional map. (iStock)

The DCCC sought to intervene in the case, it said, because the Maryland elections board doesn’t “share Proposed Intervenor’s interest in ensuring its members of Congress have an opportunity to compete in and win congressional elections in properly constituted districts.”

The Maryland map passed by the Democrat-supermajority Maryland legislature over the veto of Republican Gov. Larry Hogan threatens to gerrymander Maryland’s last Republican congressman out of his seat. It was given an “F” by the Princeton Gerrymandering Project, the same grade as Republican gerrymanders in states like Texas, Ohio and North Carolina. 

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    Rep. Andy Harris, the only Republican representing Maryland in Congress, may be forced out of his seat after Democrats gerrymandered his district from a safe GOP majority to a marginal Democrat one. (Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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    Attorney Marc Elias helped spearhead an effort by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to intervene in a redistricting lawsuit in Maryland. (David Jolkovski for The Washington Post via Getty Images/File)

“Rejecting a partisan political organization’s brazen attempt to defend partisan maps drawn by politicians is the ultimate no-brainer,” said Doug Mayer, a spokesman for Fair Maps Maryland, which is associated with Hogan. “The last thing Marylanders wanted was political operatives from Washington, D.C., interfering with their state elections.”

Also last week, a separate state court hearing a challenge to Maryland’s legislative map pushed back the filing deadline for the state’s primaries, a move Republicans say indicates courts may be open to tossing the maps. 

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