Maryland redistricting reform shouldn’t wait for the court
Regarding the Jan. 5 news article “Court to take up N.C., Md. gerrymandering cases”:
The Supreme Court having agreed to hear the gerrymandering case affecting Maryland’s 6th Congressional District, state legislators now indicate that redistricting reform will not be considered by the Maryland General Assembly before there is a court decision. As demonstrated by a series of polls run by Goucher College between 2015 and 2017, an overwhelming majority of Marylanders want the current redistricting process to be replaced by one that is conducted by an independent commission. Isn’t that sufficient reason to consider reform legislation during the current General Assembly’s session?
Voters in other states were able to place redistricting reform measures on the ballot in 2018, and these measures were approved. In Maryland, the Democratic political establishment is taking advantage of the fact that the state constitution does not allow citizen initiatives to initiate reform.
For Maryland to have a voting rights case in front of the Supreme Court is a disgrace; using this case to avoid action on meaningful reform would be reprehensible. Maryland’s elected officials should work on passing meaningful reform legislation — not a preposterous multistate compact — in this session, regardless of what the court may decide about the 6th Congressional District’s map. Other states have already taken action on reform; why should Maryland have to wait?