Maryland Gov. Hogan Asks DOJ to Sue His Own State Over Democratic Gerrymandering
© AP Photo / Brian WitteMaryland's Republican Gov. Larry Hogan shows a copy of the redrawn congressional map approved by the General Assembly this week, that is crossed out in red, during a news conference where he announced his veto of the plan, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, in Annapolis, Md.
© AP Photo / Brian Witte
Just as the DOJ sued the state of Texas earlier this month for redistricting to allegedly reduce the electoral weight of minority communities, Hogan has been outspoken in his criticism of the newly redrawn map in his Democrat-majority state, arguing that it is egregiously gerrymandered.
Republican Governor of Maryland Larry Hogan has requested assistance from President Biden's Department of Justice (DOJ) in a campaign against his own state.
In an op-ed published Friday, Hogan asked Attorney General Merrick Garland to file a lawsuit against Maryland, claiming that its Democratic-controlled legislature violated the Voting Rights Act with its newly drawn congressional districts, which he sees as "far more egregious civil-rights violations than in Texas."
After his veto was overruled, Hogan was effectively powerless to oppose the legislature's new electoral map as a Republican governor in a state dominated by Democrats.
"In announcing the Texas lawsuit, Mr. Garland argued that ‘a core principle of our democracy is that voters should choose their representatives, not the other way around,’" Hogan stated. "He’s right. The attorney general should sue Maryland, too."
According to the governor, Maryland's existing Third Congressional District, which he quoted was dubbed "the most gerrymandered district in America" by the Washington Post, runs throughout the state from rural districts near Annapolis to parts of Baltimore and Montgomery County, "where Mr. Garland lives."
Hogan added that to add insult to injury, Democrat Rep. John Sarbanes from this district is the lead sponsor of the party's anti-gerrymandering and election-reform bill.
Hogan elaborated on a specific practice that he believes is the source of much of the map manipulation, saying, "These gerrymandered maps diminish minority representation by combining them with distant rural and suburban areas, a practice called 'cracking.'"
"Mr. Garland and the Biden administration can live up to their rhetoric by holding both parties accountable for discriminatory gerrymandering—or it can politicize the Justice Department by holding red states and blue states to different standards," he concluded.
Earlier this month, Hogan called the Democrat-made redistricting, which allegedly was "drawn in back rooms by party bosses in Annapolis," an "embarrassment to all that our state stands for."
He claimed that he was imposing a veto on the new maps because he was defending the "fairness and integrity in our elections and in our political system."
7 December 2021, 21:35 GMT
According to the DOJ lawsuit, Texas created two new congressional districts with white majorities despite the state's increasing Latino electorate, which is on track to overtake whites as Texas' largest population group.
According to the lawsuit filings, the state legislature also destroyed a Latino voting chance in West Texas and relegated minority areas in Dallas-Fort Worth to rural, white counties.