Maryland’s attorney general is asking the Supreme Court to reject the appeal of 6th District Republicans challenging the state’s congressional district map. In a filing last week, Attorney General Brian Frosh (D) asked the Supreme Court to affirm a U.S. District Court decision not to impose a preliminary injunction that would have required a new statewide map before the 2018 election. A three-judge panel at the U.S. District Court in Baltimore ruled in August that the need for the “extraordinary remedy” of a preliminary injunction had not yet been proved by the plaintiffs. The judges also issued a “stay” in the case, postponing further filings until the Supreme Court’s decision on a different gerrymandering case from Wisconsin.
The 6th District defendants appealed to the Supreme Court in an effort to have the Maryland case heard at the same time as the Wisconsin challenge. In September, justices declined to speed up the Maryland appeal, and the Wisconsin case was argued in early October. An opinion has not yet been released by the court.
In the recent filing, Frosh’s office questioned why the plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction was filed in May — years after the case was sent back to Baltimore following an earlier Supreme Court appeal — and challenged the merits of the gerrymandering claim.
The filing also seizes on a statement from the District Court that election results since the map was put in place can’t be chalked up entirely to an increase in the prevalence of Democrats, but could also be the result of other political factors.