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November 8, 2018

FEDERAL COURT RULES AGAINST MARYLAND GERRYMANDERING GOP VOTERS INTO OBLIVION: It got lost in the election news this week, but Walter Olson points it out in a tweet late yesterday. The Federal District Court for the District of Maryland ruled that when Maryland’s Democratic establishment redrew congressional districts in 2011, they:

•  “The state specifically targeted voters in the sixth congressional district who were registered as Republicans and who had historically voted for Republican candidates.

•  “The state specifically intended to diminish the value of those targeted citizens’ votes by removing a substantial number of them from the sixth district and replacing them with Democratic voters for the purpose of denying, as a practical matter, the targeted voters the opportunity to elect the candidate of their choice.

•  “The state gave effect to its intent by, on net, removing about 66,000 Republican voters from the sixth district and adding 24,000 Democratic voters in their place.

•  “The state meaningfully burdened the targeted Republican voters’ representational rights by substantially diminishing their ability to elect their candidate of choice.

•  “The state also burdened the Republican voters’ right of association, as demonstrated by voter confusion, diminished participation in Republican organizational efforts in the sixth district, and diminished Republican participation in voting, as well as decreased Republican fundraising.

•  “These injuries were the direct result of the state’s purpose to convert the sixth district from a solid Republican district to a Democratic district.”

As a result, the court ordered Maryland officials “promptly to adopt a new plan in conformance with this Memorandum Opinion for use in the 2020 congressional elections.”

I live in this district, so this decision is great news, especially because the 2011 gerrymandering resulted in my part of Maryland being “represented” by the insufferable radical left-winger, Rep. Jaime Raskin.(Correction: Make that “the insufferable Democratic Rep.-elect David Trone,” replacing Rep. John Delaney, who, for reasons understood only by him, is preparing to run for president in 2020).

Now the focus is on Maryland’s Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. The Democrat-dominated legislature will have to get the new plan past him. There are a bunch of us in Maryland who will be watching him very carefully on this issue.