Amid claims of gerrymandering, judge rules Md. voting district will remain for now

A dispute over Maryland's congressional redistricting map is being put on hold while the Supreme Court considers a similar case in Wisconsin that alleges partisan gerrymandering.

HAGERSTOWN, MD (WUSA9/AP) - If you take a look at the map for Congressional District 6 in Maryland, you may notice a funky shape to it. That's why many Republicans have called this a blatant act of "gerrymandering," and have even brought the state to court. But on Thursday, a three-judge panel decided that the voting map would remain, at least for the 2018 election. 

The majority of the district is in between the Pennsylvania border and Western Virginia, stretching from the western side of the state to Hagerstown. It then dips down, near Rockville, picking up a large amount of Montgomery County voters. It's that dip into the heavily-Democratic Montgomery County that has many Republicans upset. 

The change was made in 2011, and coincided with a longtime Republican incumbent being voted out, and replaced with Rep. John Delaney, a Democrat. 

The panel decided to put the dispute on hold, while the Supreme Court considers a similar case in Wisconsin that alleges partisan gerrymandering. This case in October is expected to offer guidance on what action is appropriate for these Maryland judges. 

"Until the Supreme Court speaks," they wrote. "Prudence compels this court to stay further proceedings."

The lawsuit was initiated by seven Republican voters, who contended that Democrats redrew Maryland's eight congressional districts to favor their party. They had asked the panel to prevent the state from enforcing the map, which was approved in 2011. The third judge on the panel, Paul V. Niemeyer, said he would have granted that request.

The Wisconsin case involves Republican-drawn boundaries.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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