Federal Court Denies Maryland’s Motion to Dismiss Challenge to Partisan Gerrymander

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  • david vance, jennifer bevan dangel

Today in Shapiro v. McManus, a three-judge federal court denied the State of Maryland’s motion to dismiss a challenge to the legislature’s 2011 congressional redistricting. The challenge was brought by a group of Maryland residents claiming that the redistricting plan burdens their First Amendment right of political association. Lead plaintiff Steve Shapiro is a Common Cause Maryland member. Common Cause has filed briefs in the case as Maryland’s previous attempt to defend its partisan gerrymander made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court which ruled the case should be heard by the three-judge court.

Statement of Karen Hobert Flynn, Common Cause President:

“Today’s decision is another victory for voters and their right to choose their legislators rather than allowing legislators to choose their voters. Partisan gerrymanders strip citizens of the ability to elect the candidates of their choice and that is why Common Cause is fighting this gerrymander by Democrats in Maryland and why we have brought suit challenging a blatant partisan gerrymander perpetrated by Republicans in North Carolina.”

Statement of Jennifer Bevan-Dangel, Executive Director of Common Cause Maryland

“Partisan gerrymanders are undemocratic by nature and the Supreme Court has recognized that. We’re incredibly pleased that the Courts are finally becoming receptive to the reality that these types of power-grabs by legislatures have victims and burden the free speech of American citizens just because their views are in the political minority.”

To read the opinion, click here.