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Four petitions filed against Maryland’s legislative maps

Four petitions questioning the validity of the Maryland’s proposed maps for state senators and delegates have been filed in the Maryland Court of Appeals.

The petitions, filed right before Thursday’s 4:30 p.m. deadline, will be the subject of a virtual scheduling conference that will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday to discuss a deadline for the exchange of discovery, identification of witnesses, the nature and proposed resolutions of the petitions, and any other pertinent matters.

The state will be represented by the Office of the Attorney General, according to the release.

David Whitney claims in Petition No. 24 that the maps violate Article 3, Section 4 of the state Constitution that “each legislative district shall consist of adjoining territory.” In his petition, Whitney, who lives on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, said the proposed legislative district he lives in also includes portions of the Eastern Shore with the only connector being the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, court documents read.

He is asking the court to reject the plan and instead “use the one proposed by the Governor,” according to court documents.

Petition No. 25 was filed by Delegates Mark N. Fisher, R-Calvert County, Nicholaus R. Kipke, R-Anne Arundel County, and Kathryn Szelia, R-Baltimore/Harford counties, asking the court to declare the General Assembly draw new maps that comply with the state Constitution’s Declaration of Rights.

The petition asks that if the General Assembly can’t agree, then the Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission maps be used. The trio of legislators claim the maps are unlawfully gerrymandered, are not compact, and do not give regard to natural boundaries and political subdivisions, according to court documents.

Petition No. 26 filed by Delegates Brenda Thiam, R-Washington County, Wayne Hartman, R-Worcester/Wicomico counties, and Patricia Shoemaker, who is a registered voter residing in District 5, claim the maps violate the one-person, one-vote principle.

The petition asks the court to have the General Assembly draw new maps that comply with the state Constitution and incorporate a single member House of Delegate district, and that the court should develop a map or appoint an expert to do so.

Seth Edward Wilson, a registered voter in Washington County, filed Petition No. 27, asking for a judicial review of District 2A, which encompasses Washington County and extends into Frederick County.

Wilson said in court documents that he is a “likely candidate” from the Republican Party for the district this year and said the district violates the political subdivision between the two counties.

This article was originally posted on Four petitions filed against Maryland’s legislative maps

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