Maryland Green Party Responds to Supreme Court Decision on Gerrymandering
Redistricting Should Serve Democracy Not Partisan Politics
The Maryland Green Party deplored the decision by the US Supreme Court that it would not prevent political gerrymandering. This decision allows political parties to draw boundaries for electoral districts that protect the party in power. It turns democracy on its head by allowing parties to pick their voters, rather than voters picking their elected officials.
In Maryland where Democrats have a decades-long veto-proof majority in both houses of the legislature, the Supreme Court overruled a district court ruling that had struck down the map for Maryland’s sixth district which runs from the DC beltway to the West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland Border. Democratic governor Martin O’Malley intentionally drew this district to disenfranchise Republicans, and now presidential candidate John Delaney served in the seat as one of the top ten richest members of Congress from 2013-2018 and is now running for president.
In a deposition challenging the partisan redistricting in Maryland to ensure more Democratic Party seats, former Governor Martin O’Malley said “ "It was also my intent to create ... a district where the people would be more likely to elect a Democrat than a Republican."A consultant hired by the Democratic members of the congressional delegation said the objectives of redistricting were, "No. 1, incumbent protection. And No. 2, trying to see if there was a way that there was another Democrat district in the state." Maryland Democrats are fond of saying that complying with the lower court ruling finding Maryland voting districts to be in violation of the law would amount to “unilateral disarmament”, vowing to not draw constitutional districts until North Carolina does.
Maryland Green Party Co-Chair Andy Ellis said “ In Maryland, a Democratic Attorney General sided with North Carolina Republicans in appealing to the conservative justices on the supreme court to defend the right to draw explicitly partisan districts” he continued “In Maryland it’s Democrats who abuse the constitution and the voters for political gain.”
Maryland Greens support taking the politics out of redistricting by creating an independent commission as an immediate step toward a broader set of democracy reforms. Districts should be determined by an independent commission with the intent of fair representation of voters. Redistricting needs to serve real democracy, it should not be used to thwart democracy.