Maryland (Benisek v. Lamone):
This case was a procedural matter brought before the Supreme Court on the question of whether a federal district court should have denied a preliminary injunction against Maryland’s 2011 congressional map. The Supreme Court affirmed the lower court’s decision denying the plaintiff’s request to enjoin the use of the map for the upcoming 2018 midterm elections, noting that ruling was not an abuse of discretion.
This ruling returns the challenge back to the district court to proceed with a trial on the merits of this 1st amendment based challenge to Maryland’s sixth congressional district, a novel theory based on the notion that excessive partisan line-drawing amounts to unlawful retaliation against voters from the opposing party. The Supreme Court has already hinted at the possibility of 1st amendment partisan gerrymandering claims being viable in its recent opinion in Whitford. A trial could proceed in Maryland provided the court does not grant summary judgement to the State.