An Unconstitutional Mess
There is no chance the Legislative Districts proposed by the Maryland Legislative Redistricting Commission will pass Constitutional Muster
In case you missed it in the fact that it’s five days before Christmas, the Maryland Legislative Redistricting Advisory Commission released their proposed legislative map today.
This map is exactly what I said it was going to be from jump street: a heavily gerrymandered map that benefits Democrats at the expense of African-Americans, Asian-Americans, women, and Republicans.
A quick glance at the map, without getting into the particulars, clearly does not meet the Constitutional requirements of the Maryland State Constitution:
SEC. 4. Each legislative district shall consist of adjoining territory, be compact in form, and of substantially equal population. Due regard shall be given to natural boundaries and the boundaries of political subdivisions (amended by Chapter 432, Acts of 1900, ratified Nov. 5, 1901; Chapter 20, Acts of 1922, ratified Nov. 7, 1922; Chapter 99, Acts of 1956, ratified Nov. 6, 1956; Chapter 785, Acts of 1969, ratified Nov. 3, 1970; Chapter 363, Acts of 1972, ratified Nov. 7, 1972).
You should get familiar with that phrasing of the Constitution. It’s why the 2002 Legislative Districts were thrown out in court, and it’s why these District will never be implemented in the State.
Once again, you will notice that the Districts divided into subdistricts are haphazardly inserted into the map, usually to make sure that Democrats have a better shot to pick up a few extra seats in rural areas. It is still illogical how this does not violate the idea of “One Man, One Vote” but that’s a separate federal issue.
Let’s look at this Frederick County donut.
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen something so bizarre in a legislative district before. District 4 just surrounds the City of Frederick. Why is this done? Because it makes it more likely that the Democrats can sweep the Senate seat and all three Delegate Seats in District 3 due to all of the Montgomery County transplants up in greater Frederick.
The new District 42 in Baltimore and Carroll Counties is a meandering mess.
Can you imagine the hubris of Democrats trying to connect areas north of Westminster with parts of Towson inside the Beltway and trying to pass it off as “compact in form” and created with due regard given to “natural boundaries and the boundaries of political subdivisions?”
Harford County gets absolutely filleted
Over on the shore, take a look at District 37B
If that looks like it’s two pieces of a subdistrict barely held together by the Nanticoke Bridge, you’re right.
It gets worse as we return to the Baltimore area and look at this narrow western Baltimore County district that connects Reisterstown to Relay?
The District 12 senate District is a boomerang district that connects Central Howard County through Columbia all the way to Glen Burnie and parts of Pasadena.
Here’s another pair of boomerangs, District 21 and District 33, which border each other.
We’re also treated to this mess in Prince George’s County.
Look, these districts are completely indefensible. There is no logic, no rationale, that can explain these districts in a way that distracts from the fact that this is radical national gerrymandering brought to the state level in way we have never seen in Maryland before.
And of course, it was all predictable. This is what happens when the Democratic hacks on the Commission give the keys to Karl Aro, the architect behind the current legislative districts that were gerrymandered. But even the current districts were not gerrymandering to the extent that these districts were.
Once again, compare the Democrats map (on top) to the map proposed by Governor Larry Hogan’s Governor’s Citizens Redistricting Commission.
Which one looks more fair to you? The one drawn by the politicians, or the one drawn by the people?
The Democrats may very well have the votes to pass their Legislative Redistricting Plan next month. But it won’t take a lawyer to realize that it the districts are not sympatico with the State Constitution. The Democrats may have a map, but it’s dead on arrival in the Courts.