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Prof. Justin Levitt's Doug Spencer's Guide to Drawing the Electoral Lines

State Summary

Maryland’s congressional lines are drawn by the state legislature, as a regular statute, subject to gubernatorial veto.

For state legislative lines, the Governor submits a proposed plan at the start of the legislative session.  In January 2021, the Governor established a nine-person advisory commission to assist with the process (and also to draft a proposed congressional map).  The Governor will appoint one member of each major party and one registered with neither; those three will in turn appoint two other members of each major party and two registered with neither, from public applications.  Commissioners will not be candidates for or employees of state or federal legislative office, party employees, or lobbyists; the commission will not consider voting patterns or candidate residence.  The state legislature may adopt, modify, or ignore the commission’s proposals. The current commission members for the 2020 cycle are listed here.

If the state legislature does not successfully pass a joint resolution (without the possibility of gubernatorial veto) to redraw state legislative lines within 45 days, the Governor’s plan becomes law. [Md. Const. art. III, § 5]

In the 2010 cycle, the legislature passed a congressional plan (SB 1) on Oct. 20, 2011, which was signed by the Governor the same day.  A referendum campaign placed the plan on the ballot; that referendum was defeated, and the maps were approved, in the Nov. 2012 elections.  For state legislative districts, on Jan. 11, 2012, the Governor released state Senate (SJR 1) and state House (HJR 1) plans; without legislative action in the next 45 days, the Governor’s proposal became law on Feb. 24, 2012.

In the 2020 cycle, the Maryland General Assembly enacted HB1 on a party-line vote, overriding the veto of Gov. Hogan and establishing new congressional districts. The General Assembly approved new state legislative districts on Jan. 27, 2022 (Senate Joint Res. 2). Following legal challenges to the legislative districts, the Maryland Court of Appeals issued an order upholding the districts on Apr. 13, 2022.

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Seats: (projected)

Institution:

Drawn by:

Plan Status:

Party Control:
  Upper House:
  Lower House:
  Governor:

Key Info for 2000 Cycle

Website

Primary governing law

Md. Const. art. III, §§ 3-5; Md. Code, State Gov’t, § 2-201

Key Info for 2010 Cycle

Website

Primary governing law

Md. Const. art. III, §§ 3-5; Md. Code, State Gov’t, § 2-201

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The Latest Updates

Apr 13, 2022
The Maryland Court of Appeals issued an order upholding the state's new legislative redistricting plans.
Apr 4, 2022
Maryland Gov. Hogan signed into law the new congressional redistricting plan advanced by the Maryland General Assembly.
Mar 29, 2022
The Maryland state Senate passed a new congressional map after a state court held that the state's previous map was a partisan gerrymander.
Mar 25, 2022
A Maryland state court found the recently-enacted congressional redistricting plan to be an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander, enjoined its use, and ordered the General Assembly to produce a new plan by Mar. 30.
Mar 15, 2022
Maryland's highest court decided to delay Maryland's primary by three weeks in light of ongoing legal redistricting challenges.
Feb 12, 2022
Four additional petitions were filed by the Feb. 10 deadline to challenge Maryland's recently enacted legislative redistricting maps.
Feb 12, 2022
The Maryland Court of Appeals extended the candidate filing deadline from Feb. 22 until Mar. 22 in light of the ongoing redistricting legal challenges.
Feb 10, 2022
Fair Maps Maryland filed a petition seeking to have Maryland's recently-enacted state legislative redistricting plan declared unconstitutional.
Jan 28, 2022
A Maryland appellate judge issued an order setting Feb. 10, 2022, as the deadline to file any legal challenge to the state's recently enacted legislative redistricting plans.
Jan 27, 2022
The Maryland House of Delegates approved final versions of state legislative maps drawn by the Legislative Redistricting Advisory Commission.
Jan 27, 2022
The full Maryland House voted to approve the state legislative redistricting maps previously advanced out of committee.
Jan 25, 2022
A Maryland House committee voted to advance the state legislative redistricting plan approved by the Senate. The full House will now consider the plan.
Jan 20, 2022
The full Maryland Senate voted to approve the legislative redistricting map previously advanced by a Senate committee.
Jan 19, 2022
The Maryland Senate Reapportionment and Redistricting Committee voted to advance the state legislative map produced by the Legislative Redistricting Advisory Committee.
Jan 12, 2022
Gov. Hogan delivered to the legislature the Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission's proposed state legislative redistricting plans.
Jan 7, 2022
The Legislative Redistricting Advisory Commission voted to advance a state legislative redistricting proposal.
Dec 23, 2021
A second lawsuit has been filed over Maryland's newly enacted congressional redistricting plan.
Dec 21, 2021
Republicans in Maryland filed a lawsuit challenging Maryland's newly enacted redistricting plans on partisan gerrymandering grounds.
Dec 9, 2021
The Maryland General Assembly enacted HB1 on a party-line vote, overriding the veto of Gov. Hogan and establishing new congressional districts.
Dec 7, 2021
A Maryland House committee voted to advance the congressional map prepared by the Legislative Redistricting Commission instead of the map prepared by the Governor's advisory Citizens Redistricting Commission.
Nov 9, 2021
The Maryland Legislative Redistricting Advisory Commission unveiled several proposed congressional redistricting maps.
Nov 8, 2021
Governor Larry Hogan ordered a special session for December 6 in order for the Maryland General Assembly to consider the redistricting maps proposed by the Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission.
Nov 4, 2021
The Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission finalized its recommended state legislative and congressional redistricting maps, which can be viewed here.
Sep 23, 2021
The Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission has released final proposed draft redistricting maps, which will be open to public comment throughout an additional round of public meetings to be held throughout October 2021.
Sep 9, 2021
The Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission (Governor Hogan's advisory panel) proposed an illustrative congressional plan. Final maps must be passed by the state legislature and signed by the Governor.
Sep 6, 2021
The Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission launched a portal to allow members of the public to submit proposed redistricting plans online.
Aug 31, 2021
Maryland's legislative redistricting panel will hold a series of ten hearings, from September 20th to November 18th, to receive public input on the redistricting process.
Jul 23, 2021
The Maryland General Assembly is considering holding a special session during the week of Dec. 6, 2021, to draw congressional maps.
May 5, 2021
The Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission held its first meeting on May 5, 2021.
Apr 15, 2021
The Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission announced the selection of its final six members.
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Institution

Maryland’s congressional lines are drawn by the state legislature, as a regular statute, subject to gubernatorial veto.

For state legislative lines, the Governor submits a proposed plan at the start of the legislative session.  In January 2021, the Governor established a nine-person advisory commission to assist with the process (and also to draft a proposed congressional map).  The Governor will appoint one member of each major party and one registered with neither; those three will in turn appoint two other members of each major party and two registered with neither, from public applications.  Commissioners will not be candidates for or employees of state or federal legislative office, party employees, or lobbyists; the commission will not consider voting patterns or candidate residence.  The state legislature may adopt, modify, or ignore the commission’s proposals. The current commission members for the 2020 cycle are listed here.

If the state legislature does not successfully pass a joint resolution (without the possibility of gubernatorial veto) to redraw state legislative lines within 45 days, the Governor’s plan becomes law. [Md. Const. art. III, § 5]

The Maryland constitution vests original jurisdiction in the state Supreme Court (known as the Court of Appeals) for review of state legislative lines in state court. There is no similar provision for congressional lines. [Md. Const. art. III, § 5]

Timing

Maryland state law does not impose a particular deadline for drawing congressional lines, though candidates must file for congressional primary elections by Feb. 22, 2022. [Md. Code, Election Law, § 5-303(a)]  The legislative session began on Jan. 13, 2021, and is currently scheduled to end on Apr. 12, 2021.

For state legislative lines, if the state legislature does not pass a joint resolution within 45 days of the start of the session two years after the federal Census is conducted, the Governor’s proposal will become law; because the session will begin on Jan. 13, 2022, that 45-day deadline will be Feb. 27, 2022. [Md. Const. art. III, § 5]  However, candidates must file for state legislative primary elections by Feb. 22, 2022.  [Md. Code, Election Law, § 5-303(a)]

The Maryland constitution ties the drawing of state legislative lines to the Census, and might therefore be construed to prohibit redrawing lines mid-decade; there is no similar provision pertaining to congressional lines. [Md. Const. art. III, § 5]

Public input

The Maryland constitution requires public hearings before the Governor submits a proposed state legislative plan to the legislature. [Md. Const. art. III, § 5]

The Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission launched a portal to allow members of the public to submit proposed redistricting plans online. The Commission is also hosting public meetings every Wednesday in October 2021.

Criteria

Like all states, Maryland must comply with constitutional equal population requirements. [Md. Const. art. III, § 4Legislative Redistricting Cases, 629 A.2d 646 (Md. 1993)] Maryland will adjust census data for both congressional and state legislative districts in order to count incarcerated individuals at their last known residence before incarceration. [Md. Code, State Gov’t, § 2-2A-01; Md. Code, Election Law, § 8-701]

Maryland must also, like all states, abide by the Voting Rights Act and constitutional rules on race.

The Maryland constitution further requires that state legislative districts be contiguous and compact, and that they give “due regard” for political boundaries and natural features. There are no similar provisions for congressional districts. [Md. Const. art. III, § 4In re Legislative Districting, 475 A.2d 428 (Md. 1984)]  Three state representatives are elected from each state Senate district; the three state representatives may be elected from a multimember district, or from three state House districts nested within a state Senate district. [Md. Const. art. III, § 3]

2020 cycle

In the 2020 cycle, the Maryland General Assembly enacted HB1 on a party-line vote, overriding the veto of Gov. Hogan and establishing new congressional districts.

2010 cycle

The Maryland legislature passed a congressional plan (SB 1) on Oct. 20, 2011, which was signed by the Governor the same day.  A referendum campaign placed the plan on the ballot; that referendum was defeated, and the maps were approved, in the Nov. 2012 elections.

On Dec. 16, 2011, the Governor’s advisory commission released a proposed state legislative map; on Jan. 11, 2012, the Governor released a slightly modified version — the state Senate (SJR 1) and state House (HJR 1) — as his final proposal to the legislature. Without legislative action in the next 45 days, the Governor’s proposal became law on Feb. 24, 2012.

The congressional plans were challenged in state and federal court, and the state legislative plans were challenged in state court.  All of the challenges were ultimately rejected.  [Lamone v. Benisek, 139 S. Ct. 2484 (2019); Bouchat v. Maryland, No. 1:15-cv-02417, 2016 WL 4699415 (D. Md. Sept. 7, 2016); Parrott v. Lamone, No. 1:15-cv-01849, 2016 WL 4445319 (D. Md. Aug. 24, 2016), dismissed on jurisdiction, 137 S. Ct. 654 (2017); Bouchat v. Maryland, No. 06C15068061 (Md. Cir. Ct., Carroll Cnty. May 1, 2015); In the Matter of 2012 Legislative Districting of the State, 80 A.3d 1073 (Md. 2013); Olson v. O’Malley, No. 1:12-cv-0240, 2012 WL 764421 (D. Md. Mar. 6, 2012); Olson v. O’Malley, Misc. No. 13 (Md. Ct. Appeals Jan. 10, 2012); Gorrell v. O’Malley, 1:11-cv-02975, 2012 WL 226919 (D. Md. Jan. 19, 2012); Fletcher v. Lamone, 831 F. Supp. 2d 887 (D. Md. 2011), aff’d, 133 S. Ct. 29 (2012); Martin v. Maryland, No. 1:11-cv-00904, 2011 WL 5151755 (D. Md. Oct. 27, 2011)]

2000 cycle

The Maryland legislature enacted congressional plans (SB 805), signed on May 6, 2002. The legislature did not pass state legislative plans, so the Governor’s proposals for state Senate (SJR 3) and state House (HJR 3) became law on Feb. 22, 2002.

The congressional plan was challenged in federal court, and upheld. The state legislative plan was challenged in state court, and struck down largely on grounds that the plan failed to give “due regard” to political boundaries. The court adopted its own plan on June 21, 2002.  [In re Legislative Districting, 805 A.2d 292 (Md. 2002); Duckworth v. State Admin. Bd. of Elections, 332 F.3d 769 (4th Cir. 2003); Kimble v. State Bd. of Elections, 120 Fed. Appx. 466 (4th Cir. 2005)]

Redistricting Cases in Maryland

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Maryland | State Supreme | State Upper | State Lower
In re 2022 State Legislative Districting
State court challenge to state legislative districts on various constitutional grounds.
Last Updated Apr 13, 2022
Case Number
Cycle 2020
Maryland | State Trial | Congress
Szeliga v. Lamone
PENDING - State court challenge to congressional redistricting plan on partisan gerrymander grounds
Last Updated Mar 25, 2021
Case Number

No. C-02-CV-21-001816 (Md. Cir. Ct.)

Cycle 2020
Maryland | State Trial | Congress
Parrott v. Lamone
PENDING - State court challenge to congressional redistricting plan on partisan gerrymander grounds
Last Updated Mar 25, 2021
Case Number

No. C-02-CV-21-001773

Cycle 2020

2020 Maryland Maps Available for Download

Search all Cycles for Maryland Maps >

Maryland | 2020
Number of Maps 2
Last Updated Oct 22, 2021
Cycle 2020