State GOP lawmakers say new congressional card ignores the wishes of many Marylanders

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The General Assembly largely ignored the wishes of a significant portion of the state’s electorate in a recent vote to override by Governor Larry Hogan veto of congressional redistribution legislation favored by Democrats, several Maryland GOP MPs said Monday.

This action by the House of Delegates and Senate came on Thursday evening as the four-day extraordinary legislative session drew to a close and just hours after Hogan vetoed it.

On the first day of the special session, lawmakers refused to move forward oppose redistribution legislation that was based on the work of an independent citizens’ commission whose members were appointed by Hogan. This bill did not even get a vote and died in committee.

“The gerrymandered congressional card that we have adopted is certainly incredibly disappointing and amounts to the denial of the right to vote from a wide range of the Maryland electorate. And that’s sad, ”Del said. Haven Shoemaker, R-Carroll, at MarylandReporter.com.

As for potential legal challenges With the new law, which some anti-gerrymandering groups have hinted at, it could be a tough road for plaintiffs, said Shoemaker, who is a lawyer.

“Given the precedent the Supreme Court appears to have set in the latest Maryland case and the North Carolina case, it certainly won’t be easy, at least in federal court. I am cautiously optimistic that a state lawsuit may be more successful. “

Senator Johnny Ray Salling, of R-Baltimore County, said it was unclear what could happen in court.

However, Salling also said there was no doubt that the Democrat-backed congressional redistribution map was not the preferred choice of the overwhelming majority of people who testified in a public hearing on the matter. last week.

“Eighty point six percent of people were against and didn’t want the lawmakers card. And 0.03% did. So this shows that out of 156 people who testified, 125 did not want it and six did. This is how bad this card is and how gerrymandered it is. “

Of the. Brian Chisholm, R-Anne Arundel, said enacting the new congressional redistribution map into law essentially amounts to a “takeover” by the Democratic qualified majority in the legislature.

“We have a Republican representative at the national level for us. We have a House dominated by Democrats. We have a Senate dominated by Democrats. We have two US senators who are Democrats. We have seven of the eight members of Congress who are Democrats. And 35% of that state is Republican.

“Their goal (of the Democrats) is to get this last Republican out. And their reasoning behind calling it a fair card just didn’t make sense to me. It’s simple enough that everyone can see it. This is another gerrymandered card. It was disappointing. But it was expected, ”added Chisholm.

But not everyone agrees that the new congressional redistribution map is gerrymandered.

“I am against partisan gerrymandering and I have no doubts that it has not been done,” said Senator Jill Carter, D-Baltimore City.

Carter, who like Shoemaker is a lawyer, called the new card “healthy” and said it takes into account both “population changes and constitutional voting rights requirements.”

Carter developed this point.

“For the first time in history, the population of the city of Baltimore has grown from less than 600,000 to approximately 585,000. Baltimore City 7th Borough and Prince George County 4th Borough are the two boroughs of Prince George County. Congresses that meet our voting rights law requirements.

This article was originally published on MarylandReporter.com on Monday, December 13, 2021.



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