The decision from the Court of Appeals today made clear that the Prince George’s County Council could not override the redistricting plan drawn by the County’s independent Redistricting Commission, by passing a simple resolution, when the County Charter unambiguously required the Council to pass a law, subject to veto by the County Executive, if they wished to override the Commission’s plan. The redistricting process outlined in the County Charter requires the Council to pass a law, instead of a simple resolution, to provide meaningful protection against the Council’s self-interest when they draw their own district lines.
As a result of the decision today, the communities split apart by the Council’s unlawfully adopted redistricting plan will stay together, and the Commission’s uncontroversial, fairly drawn map will be in effect until the next census in 2030. This is a victory for the voters of Prince George’s County, for fair redistricting processes, and for representative democracy, which is stronger when voters can elect their chosen representatives, not when legislators choose their constituents.
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