Supreme Court weighs Republican challenge to Maryland electoral map

On Wednesday, the supreme court of the United States considered for the second time in a short span of time whether to rein in the politicians who draw the electoral maps of the state with the target of establishing their party in power in a case that involves a Maryland district of the Congress. The justices of the court heard a case which is very similar to this on the 3rd of October where the voters of the Democrats threw a challenge to the state legislative district boundaries drawn by the Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin and still now have not issued a ruling. On Wednesday, the justices are all set to hear a long argument of more than an hour in a challenge by the voters of the Republicans to a US House of Representatives district drawn by the Democrats of Maryland.

Both of these cases revolve around a practice which is referred to as partisan gerrymandering which involves the manipulation of the boundaries of the legislative districts for the benefit of one party and diminishes the other. The Supreme Court has been trying to invalidate these particular state electoral maps for decades because of racial discrimination but never for the creation of any kind of a partisan advantage. The rulings in the cases of Maryland and Wisconsin which are due by the end of June could bring about a change in the overall political landscape of the United States either by imposing limits on partisan gerrymandering or simply by allowing it even in its forms that are most extreme.

The voters for Republicans sued Maryland after legislature that was led by the Democrats in the year 2011 redrew the boundaries of the Sixth District of the state in such a way that it removed the areas of the Republicans and added some leaning areas for the Democrats as well. The map of Maryland led to the beating of the incumbent Republican Roscoe Bartlett by Democrat John Delaney to take the district in the year 2012. At that point of time, Maryland also had a Democratic governor, Martin O'Malley. The present Republican Governor Larry Hogan, whose victory in the election of the year 2014 made it clear about the strength of his party throughout the state, filed a brief that backed the challengers. With the present scenario, the Republicans hold just one of eight congressional seats of Maryland because of the way the electoral boundaries are drawn.

June 25, 2018 - 11:19
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