Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan vetoed a congressional redistricting map Thursday, saying President Joe Biden should sue over the proposal that the state Legislature passed just a day prior.
Hogan vetoed the "antidemocratic, gerrymandered congressional map passed along party lines by the Maryland General Assembly," which makes "a mockery of our democracy," and urged the Biden administration "to immediately add the State of Maryland to its lawsuit against Texas for violations of the Voting Rights Act of 1965."
"The focus of the Legislature this week has instead been on protecting themselves by making the worst, most gerrymandered districts in America even worse," he said before vetoing the bill.
REDISTRICTING HELPS REPUBLICANS, BUT IT DOESN'T GUARANTEE CONTROL
Hogan, a Republican, said the map the Democratic-controlled Maryland Legislature passed is "a far more egregious civil rights violation" than what passed in Texas, whose proposed congressional redistricting map prompted a lawsuit from Attorney General Merrick Garland Monday due to the alleged inclusion of "districts that violate the Voting Rights Act."
The current map in Maryland gives Democrats seven out of eight congressional seats in the state, amounting to 88% of the congressional delegation, and the proposal would likely put the state's sole Republican-controlled seat in play. Biden received 65% of the vote in the state in the 2020 presidential contest.
Hogan said citizens should pick their politicians "rather than politicians picking their voters."
"American democracy literally began right here, in this very place. And yet when it comes to free and fair elections, Maryland is failing to live up to that proud legacy," he said.
Hogan said he anticipates the proposal for new districts within the state Legislature, a map that has not been completed, will likely be even more heavily gerrymandered.
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The Maryland Legislature is expected to override Hogan's veto. The governor predicted the map will then go to court and that judges will strike down some components of the legislation.
States across the country have been working on new district maps to adjust for the results of the 2020 census. The maps will have a significant impact on the balance of power in Congress.