UPDATE: A Maryland judge has tossed out the General Assembly’s newly drawn Congressional district map.
Original story below…
ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan on Thursday afternoon vetoed the congressional map that was passed along party lines by the Maryland General Assembly, and called on the Biden administration to immediately add the State of Maryland to its lawsuit against Texas for violations of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The governor also continued urging lawmakers to take action on emergency crime legislation during the special session.
“The congressional map drawn in back rooms by party bosses in Annapolis makes a mockery of our democracy, and it is an embarrassment to all that our state stands for,” said Governor Hogan. “On behalf of all the people of Maryland who value fairness and integrity in our elections and in our political system, I am vetoing these disgracefully gerrymandered, illegal maps, which are a shameful violation of state and federal law.”
The map, passed by the legislature along party lines, has been universally panned and received an ‘F’ rating from the Princeton Gerrymandering Project. The legislature rejected the maps that were written by the independent Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission, which earned an ‘A’ rating from Princeton.
On Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it would be suing Texas over its new redistricting plan, alleging violations of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. On Thursday, Governor Hogan called on the Biden administration to immediately add the State of Maryland to that lawsuit.
Governor Hogan also urged the legislature to reverse course, and take immediate action on emergency crime legislation, including:
- The Violent Firearms Offender Act, which significantly toughens penalties for offenders who use and illegally possess firearms, as well as those who illegally supply firearms to criminals
- The Judicial Transparency Act, which would require the Maryland State Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy to track and publish detailed information on the sentences that are handed down by judges for violent crimes
“Today, I am once again calling on city leaders and the city delegation to stop working against this legislation, and calling on legislative leaders across the state to finally take action on violent crime,” continued the governor. “The citizens will not be able to take back their streets and their communities without city leaders and legislators doing the jobs they were elected to do.”
Thursday’s press conference can be viewed below…