The U.S. Supreme Court won’t hear a Maryland gerrymandering claim at the same time as a similar challenge from Wisconsin. The court issued an order Wednesday denying the motion of Republican plaintiffs to have their case before the court at the same time as Democratic plaintiffs from Wisconsin. In U.S. District Court, the plaintiffs — who include three Republican voters from Frederick County — argued that the redrawn districts amount to an unconstitutional violation of their First Amendment right to free speech. The case arrived at the Supreme Court after two U.S. District Court judges denied 6th District voters’ request for a preliminary injunction to require a new map before the 2018 election. The judges also decided to place a hold on the case until the Supreme Court considered the Wisconsin case.
In their appeal to the Supreme Court, the Maryland plaintiffs asked the justices to set oral arguments in both state cases in November. Attorneys for the state of Maryland, who are defending the congressional district map, argued against the speedy hearing at the country’s top court.
The Maryland and Wisconsin cases are similar on their face, but there are some important differences. The Maryland case challenges the redrawing of a single federal district, the 6th, to favor Democrats, while the Wisconsin case is based on the statewide redrawing of the Wisconsin State Assembly districts to favor Republicans.