Man Sues Maryland for Gerrymandering

A student from the American University in Washington D.C. has sued Maryland State for redistricting improperly. This student, who is known as Stephen Shapiro is unequaled in that he is a 55 year old first year law student. Apart from being bold enough to study with students who can call him dad, he is also very keen when it comes to his rights. Mr. Shapiro’s Lawsuit will be heard this Wednesday at the U.S Supreme Court.

Mr. Shapiro was saddened by the way Maryland had redrawn the 8 districts of the state in the year 2011. He said that the shapes of some of the districts were absurd. In 2013, after suing the districts on grounds that they had violated his First Amendment rights, the judge who was in charge of the case dismissed the ruling claiming that his lawsuit was baseless and invalid.

Mr. Shapiro said that the judge was supposed to forward his lawsuit to a special three-judge panel. He says that a federal law known as the Three-judge Court Act gave him the stated privilege. Mr. Shapiro wants the Supreme Court to decide whether the Judge’s dismissal claims were in order.

Mr. Shapiro has had a keen interest in the redistricting since 1990. He gained more interest when one of the districts he lived in, in the Northern side of Washington, D.C. was redrawn. The latest redraw of the districts that was done by the Democrats has bothered him so much. He says that before the districts had been redrawn, the eight seats of the state were held by 6 Democrats members and 2 Republican members. With the new redistricting, 7 Democrats hold seven seats and the Republicans only hold one seat.

Shapiro says that, as a law student and a Democrat, he understands that lawmakers want to pick up more seats for the party. He thinks that there are other ways that the districts can be redrawn such that they can accomplish their desired goals and make more sense. This new mapping can connect people who have similar political views and interests. Shapiro is annoyed with districts whose narrow “ribbons” of land link larger regions. This brings together areas that have no relations with the other.

Mr. Shapiro has failed to get a lawyer that can represent him in court. “Most wouldn’t even return my messages,” he said. He isn’t the first one to sue the state’s redistricting as a federal Judge in Maryland said that the state’s third district looked like “a broken-winged pterodactyl” while another judge said that it looked like “a Rorschach-like eyesore.” Sadly, none of these lawsuits ever won.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *