Democracy Wire

Read more from our staff and guests, along with news stories and commentary on the issues that matter.

Supreme Court Orders Full Hearing of Common Cause Member's Challenge to Maryland Redistricting

December 8, 2015

Steve Shapiro, a Common Cause Maryland member and a longtime federal employee, filed that case that became Shapiro v. McManus on his own behalf. Though not a lawyer, he represented himself when the case came before U.S. District Judge James K. Breder in Baltimore and later when it was before the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond. Judge Breder dismissed the case, concluding that the claim of partisan gerrymandering is not a matter for the courts to decide. While his decision was upheld by the 4th Circuit, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the suit should have been heard and decided on the merits by a special three-judge panel.

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A Must in Maryland: Voter Education

December 1, 2015

Maryland’s new and improved paper voting system is finally here, ready to be used for the first time in our 2016 elections. We have a chance with this new system to encourage democracy! Voting is our most powerful tool to have a voice in our democracy – so it is critical that we put forth the effort to informing citizens about how the voting process has changed and what to expect on Election Day. Voter education will strengthen our voices as citizens and encourage more people to vote.

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Strong Step Forward

November 6, 2015

On Tuesday, November 3 the Governor’s Redistricting Reform Commission in Maryland finalized its recommendations for reforming Maryland’s rigged redistricting process. The plan is a bold proposal based on best practices from states across the nation, and if adopted as proposed would certainly take the politics out of the process.

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Shapiro v. McManus

November 5, 2015

Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Shapiro v. McManus. Hear Common Cause’s conference call previewing the case. When it issues its opinion later this term, the high Court will clarify the procedure for how the federal courts decide constitutional challenges to partisan gerrymanders.

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It is time to Unlock the Vote

August 7, 2015

Meeting in the heart of downtown, commercial Baltimore, various community organizations gathered yesterday, August 6, to hold signs proclaiming “Recall this Veto!” and “Communities United!” We were drumming up interest about

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