Federal judge grants injunction against Baltimore County redistricting map

TOWSON, MD—In the federal court challenge to Baltimore County’s redistricting plan, brought by several local civil rights organizations, federal judge Lydia Kay Griggsby on Tuesday granted a preliminary injunction blocking implementation of the County’s plan.

The judge has ordered officials to submit a new plan that complies with the Voting Rights Act by March 8th.

Maryland Matters reports that the federal law bans cracking, or “fragmenting the minority voters among several districts where a bloc-voting majority can routinely outvote them,” according to the U.S. Department of Justice, or by “packing them into one or a small number of districts to minimize their influence.”

The federal court lawsuit challenging Baltimore County’s unlawful redistricting plan was brought by seven individual voters – Charles Sydnor, Anthony Fugett, Dana Vickers Shelley, Danita Tolson, Sharon Blake, Gerald Morrison, and Niesha McCoy – and the Baltimore County Branch of the NAACP, the League of Women Voters of Baltimore County, and Common Cause – Maryland.

Back in October, the Baltimore County NAACP and the ACLU of Maryland voiced concerns that the redistricting plan the Commission is potentially recommending would “unlawfully dilute Black people’s votes, in violation of the landmark Voting Rights Act.”

The judge’s full decision can be viewed online here.

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