Court Rules Democrats Engaged in “Extreme Partisan Gerrymander” in Maryland

I recently wrote a column on the hypocrisy of Democratic activists and members denouncing attacks on democracy as they engage in raw gerrymandering in states like New York. Marc Elias, the former Clinton Campaign general counsel accused of hiding the funding of the Steele Dossier, filed in support the gerrymandered map. The case is Szeliga vs. Lamone.

This is the first time that a congressional map has been thrown out in the history of the state. (It is important to note that Republicans have also had courts rule against them in states like North Carolina and Pennsylvania).

While only 55 percent of Maryland identifies as Democratic, the map would have given Democrats a huge advantage in every district by carefully “cracking” or distributing Republican voting pockets to diffuse their power.

Anne Arundel County Senior Judge Lynne A. Battaglia was scathing in the effort to rig the election by dividing the state into seven Democratic districts and one Republicans district. The court found that, in their 2021 Congressional Plan, the Democrats not only violated Maryland law but the state constitution’s equal protection, free speech and free elections clauses.

The court concluded:

“Finally, with respect to the evaluation of the 2021 Plan through the lens of the Constitution and Declaration of Rights, it is axiomatic that popular sovereignty is the paramount consideration in a republican, democratic government. The limitation of the undue extension of power by any branch of government must be exercised to ensure that the will of the people is heard, no matter under which political placard those governing reside. The 2021 Congressional Plan is unconstitutional and subverts the will of those governed.”

(MSNBC/via YouTube)

Elias has been accused of making millions from gerrymandering and challenging election victories by Republicans (while condemning such actions by Republicans as “anti-Democratic”). He was involved in the New York redistricting that was ridiculed as not only ignoring the express will of the voters to end such gerrymandering but effectively negating the votes of Republican voters.

Elias has long been a controversial figure in politics. I previously described news accounts linking the firm and Elias to the dossier scandal:

Throughout the campaign, the Clinton campaign denied any involvement in the creation of the so-called Steele dossier’s allegations of Trump-Russia connections. However, weeks after the election, journalists discovered that the Clinton campaign hid payments for the dossier made to a research firm, Fusion GPS, as “legal fees” among the $5.6 million paid to the campaign’s law firm. New York Times reporter Ken Vogel said at the time that Clinton lawyer Marc Elias, with the law firm of Perkins Coie, denied involvement in the anti-Trump dossier. When Vogel tried to report the story, he said, Elias “pushed back vigorously, saying ‘You (or your sources) are wrong.’” Times reporter Maggie Haberman declared, “Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year.”

It was not just reporters who asked the Clinton campaign about its role in the Steele dossier. John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman, was questioned by Congress and denied categorically any contractual agreement with Fusion GPS. Sitting beside him was Elias, who reportedly said nothing to correct the misleading information given to Congress.

The Washington Post also reported that “Elias drew from funds that both the Clinton campaign and the DNC were paying Perkins Coie.” Elias has featured prominently in the ongoing investigation of John Durham.

That history has not stopped media like CNN asking Elias “what should we be doing differently” in covering elections. He chastised the media for not having enough of a a “pro-democracy slant,” which appears to mean a more Democratic slant.

Elias and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee defended the map despite being given an “F” by the Princeton Gerrymandering Project.

Here is the opinion: Szeliga vs. Lamone.

114 thoughts on “Court Rules Democrats Engaged in “Extreme Partisan Gerrymander” in Maryland”

    1. Agreed, voting districts and county lines would work. As for Maryland, I am a Maryland Republican and I speak to many people who know the game is rigged and have long since given up voting. Damn shame.

  1. Judge Battaglia is a retired chief judge of the court of appeals in MD. I am pretty sure that she has been involved in older gerrymandering cases before she retired and those cases always affirmed the democrat scheme for gerrymandering. This map must have been especially egregious.

  2. “Extreme partisan gerrymander”

    Unsurprising, considering the temper of politicians as of late. We’re careering about as though our culture got hit by Stuxnet. It’d be prudent to slow things down to recalibrate our equilibrium.

  3. What did Joe Biden say when he saw his reflection in the teleprompter? “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”

    Would you ever let Joe Biden drive your car? Let alone control the nuclear launch codes.

    They never should have let him leave the basement.

    1. We took my grandad’s truck keys away long before he reached Puddin’ Brain Joe”s current state

        1. The only thing keeping doddering Joseph Robinette Biden in the White House is the walking, talking disaster that is Kamala Harris. Kamala is Exhibit A for the recklessness of the progressive Democrat’s discriminatory policy of appointing unqualified progressive black women to serve as political props. Neither of them is fit for office.

          The good news is that the tide is turning. Americans are on the cusp of taking their country back. Hopefully before doddering old Joe stumbles into a war with Russia. God help us.

          1. Yep! Heels-Up Harris is The HairSniffer’s ‘insurance policy’….. he is safe because she is SO bad that NO-ONE wants her high heels on the Resolute Desk.
            This is a continuation of the Democ’RATs standard procedure, as The HairSniffer was Zero’s ‘insurance policy’ when Zero had his heels on the Resolute Desk.

  4. WHAT ?!  NO . .  How can this BE !? ( Hint: The Left almost ALWAYS accuses their opponents of doing what they, themselves are most guilty of . . . . Come to think of it, so does Putin accuse HIS opponents of doing what HE is doing !)

  5. Elias controversial? Cmon man. Elias is the most ethical, smartest man in the world, after Hunter Biden! Just look at this glowing CV of crack pipe toting Hunter, recounted on Ukraine’s Largest gas provider. Nooooooo ethical problems here! Black Clarence Thomas and his white wife? Now thats a huuuuge ethics problem, because you know, we Democrats love our racist history and double standards

    “Hunter Biden in May of 2014 accepted a position on the board of Burisma, which was run by sleazoid Ukrainian oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky. The job paid him tens of thousands of dollars a month to do not very much, at a time when Zlochevsky — who had been close to deposed Russian-friendly president Viktor Yanukovich — was desperate for the appearance of protection from Western law enforcement”

    https://taibbi.substack.com/p/tk-mashup-the-media-campaign-to-protect

    “Hunter Biden joins the team of Burisma Holdings”

    London, 12 May, 2014

    Burisma Holdings, Ukraine’s largest private gas producer, has expanded its Board of Directors by bringing on Mr. R Hunter Biden as a new director.

    R. Hunter Biden will be in charge of the Holdings’ legal unit and will provide support for the Company among international organizations. On his new appointment, he commented: “Burisma’s track record of innovations and industry leadership in the field of natural gas means that it can be a strong driver of a strong economy in Ukraine. As a new member of the Board, I believe that my assistance in consulting the Company on matters of transparency, corporate governance and responsibility, international expansion and other priorities will contribute to the economy and benefit the people of Ukraine.”

    The Chairman of the Board of Directors of Burisma Holdings, Mr. Alan Apter, noted: “The company’s strategy is aimed at the strongest concentration of professional staff and the introduction of best corporate practices, and we’re delighted that Mr. Biden is joining us to help us achieve these goals.”

    R. Hunter Biden is a counsel to Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, a national law firm based in New York, USA, which served in cases including “Bush vs. Gore”, and “U.S. vs. Microsoft”. He is one of the co-founders and a managing partner of the investment advisory company Rosemont Seneca Partners, as well as chairman of the board of Rosemont Seneca Advisors. He is an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University’s Masters Program in the School of Foreign Service.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20140606004334/http://burisma.com/hunter-biden-joins-the-team-of-burisma-holdings/

  6. Sammy says:

    “This is a Republican partisan blog. Of course the Thomas scandal will be ignored.”

    I wouldn’t say that. I think (hope) Turley will respond to it. It bears on SC recusal, and Turley has had a lot to say about SC recusals with respect to Judge Jackson and other Justices in the past.

    To me, it’s evident that Turley does quite a bit of petty score-settling with Elias, Jennifer Rubin, Schiff, Ruth Marcus, Joe Patrice, Steve Vladeck, etc. It’s apparent that some of his commentary has become personal.

    For your edification, I would suggest you read this article:

    “What the Heck Happened to Jonathan Turley?”

    https://washingtonmonthly.com/2019/12/05/what-the-heck-happened-to-jonathan-turley/

    “Professor Turley does not necessarily march to the beat of Trump’s drum. During his testimony Wednesday, he said that he did not vote for the president and that he has previously voted for Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Indeed in 2015, Turley criticized candidate Trump’s proposed Muslim ban as unconstitutional in the Washington Post: “This would not only violate international law but do so by embracing open discrimination against one religion. It would make the United States a virtual pariah among nations.” (Of course, Turley’s opposition to Trump then is sold by Republicans as a bona fide in his defense of the president now.)

    What makes a man crawl back into the saddle for people like Barr and Trump? Why would Turley dust off failed arguments and put himself in the position of being a Trump defender when he claims he doesn’t agree with or support him? Is it his love of the Constitution? Is it his concern about the overreach of Congressional investigations? Marcus’s 1998 Post piece had an answer. Some of his law school colleagues, she reported, “sniff at his celebrity, saying he has forsaken scholarship for self-aggrandizement.” Indeed, according to Marcus, one faculty member quipped at the time: “If there were the deanship for self-promotion, he’d get it.””
    ————-

    Turley’s Liberal status is very effectively exploited by Republicans not in spite of, but rather, because of, the very fact that he IS a NeverTrumper. Though he will criticize a Republican at times, e.g., Tom Cotton recently, to shore up his supposed analytical impartiality, he will level MOST of his criticism at Democrats lest he burn his bridges with Republicans. Being useful to Republicans, as the article points out, is very profitable.

    1. Turley has already written about it in The Hill, and presumably will report that column here, as he often does.

      1. Thanks for the heads up. I do not peruse thehill.com though I did just read his article.

        1. It’s interesting that Turley feels obliged to put in a little dig at some Republican whipping boys and girls in order to maintain his street cred with Trumpists in spite of his NeverTrumpism, to wit:

        “Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas may have been released from the hospital this week with a clean bill of health, but he was immediately met by a chorus of pundits and professors in a media frenzy calling for Thomas’s recusal from an array of cases. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) even called for Thomas to be impeached; others, like MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan, echoed that call.”

        The tell-tale “chorus” of pundits and media “frenzy” are unbecoming aspersions for a serious academic.

        2. There is a lot of posturing that Turley must do in order to offset his heresy that the election was NOT stolen:

        “When Ginni Thomas sent these messages, many Republicans believed the 2020 presidential election was stolen. (Indeed, only 21 percent of Republicans still believe Joe Biden was legitimately elected as president.) She and others were pushing for legal and political action to expose what they saw as voting fraud. I did not share that view and stated in 2020 that there was no evidence in these cases showing systemic fraud.”

        Turley seems to suggest that the belief in the existence of massive voter fraud is simply a good faith difference of opinion which “view” he did not share. In fact, voter fraud was known to be unsubstantiated, and there is growing evidence that it was pushed in bad faith. It was a Big Lie which Turley will NEVER concede PUBLICLY for obvious reasons, namely, his employer, Fox News, is being sued for defamation for advocating that the election was rigged or was recklessly indifferent whether it was true or not.

        3. Let’s not ignore the fact that Turley never did react publicly to Bill Barr’s recent statement that claims of voter fraud were “bullsh*t.”

        “Barr says he told Trump that election fraud claims were ‘bulls—‘”

        https://thehill.com/homenews/media/596750-barr-says-he-told-trump-that-election-fraud-claims-were-bulls

        “Trump denied Barr’s characterization of the situation in a statement to NBC News, calling him “lazy” and a “coward” and saying that he asked Barr to resign for failing to pursue claims of election fraud.”

        Turley did not see fit to defend his friend against Trump’s latest attacks on Barr’s character as “lazy” and a “coward” though he did castigate Trump in his article in theHill on 12/15/20, entitled, “William Barr leaves his mark as a defender of justice in this nation.” Possibly Turley declined to comment about Barr’s new book because it demolishes Turley’s claim that Trumpists merely “were pushing for legal and political action to expose what *they saw* as voting fraud” (my emphasis) when there was absolutely NOTHING to see which fact compelled Barr to call all such claims utter “bullsh*t.” Barr would make a great witness for Smartmatic’s and Dominion’s lawsuit against Turley’s employer.

        4. Turley then makes the moral, if not exactly criminal, equivalence between 1/6 and protestations by Democrats of the validity of certain election results:

        “Democrats in prior – and later – years also have challenged election results and opposed the certification of presidential elections in Congress, and leading Democrats continue to call Trump an illegitimate president. What they did not do, of course, is riot in the halls of Congress – but neither did Ginni Thomas.”

        Turley should name those leading Democrats so that we could verify his accusations that they continue to call Trump’s presidency illegitimate. Not even Republicans deny that Russia did its best to assist his candidacy, but no one can possibly prove that foreign influence, in fact, affected the result. Trumpists, on the other hand, insist that it is a provable FACT that the election was stolen, and thus Trump won.

        5. Turley made sure to distance himself from his liberal academic colleagues:

        “The airwaves again are filled with shocked experts doing their best Claude Rains interpretation for cable audiences.”

        As if Turley himself is immune to pandering to *his* audience! His hypocrisy notwithstanding, by separating himself from the liberal experts, he burnishes his credibility with his clientele, the Senate Republicans, so that he remains in good stead with them.

        1. I don’t generally read The Hill. Turley’s Twitter feed is embedded in the website here, and he tweeted about his article in The Hill, and I saw the tweet here. I wonder if Thomas will recuse from any cases.

          1. Turley’s article in theHill.con is exceedingly disingenuous. He quotes one of Ginni’s messages to Meadows:

            “Sounds like [Trump attorney] Sidney [Powell] and her team are getting inundated with evidence of fraud. Make a plan. Release the Kraken and save us from the left taking America down.”

            Turley attempts to liken her positively deranged conspiracy theory to remarks made by legal scholars:

            “The media exploded with strikingly similar headlines, like Salon’s “‘Extraordinary level of corruption’: Legal experts shocked by Ginni Thomas’ QAnon texts” and the New Yorker’s “Legal Scholars Are Shocked By Ginni Thomas’s ‘Stop the Steal’ Texts.” The airwaves again are filled with shocked experts doing their best Claude Rains interpretation for cable audiences.”

            Thomas urged Meadows to overturn the 2020 election by any means necessary, yet Turley pooh poohs her fanatical conspiracy theory. And worse, Turley conveniently overlooks this harrowing response by Meadows:

            “This is a fight of good versus evil. Evil always looks like the victor until the King of Kings triumphs. Do not grow weary in well doing. The fight continues. I have staked my career on it. Well at least my time in DC on it.”

            It’s a religious crusade! Absolutely nuts!

            Turley dismisses Ginni’s texts:

            “Much of the ethical analysis seems driven by the characterization of these messages as “collusion” in “overthrowing an election” rather than political advocacy…. Ginni Thomas insists she was not trying to “subvert the outcome of the 2020 election” but, instead, to challenge what she viewed as a rigged election. She was wrong, in my view, but that is not a crime — it is protected speech. There is no evidence she advocated or participated in violence on that day, which is the purported focus of the committee. Her “interest” was the same as that of many Republicans who considered the election stolen.”

            Asserting that the election was rigged by means of Smartmatic and Dominion vote counting machine tampering IS protected speech because it won’t land you in jail, but it could subject you to monetary damages for defamation. Despite her claim that she was not trying to corruptly obstruct, influence, or impede an official proceeding, which is a felony under U.S. federal law, it remains to be seen whether she was *innocently* wrong in believing that the election was stolen when Turley himself never for a moment believed such nonsense.

            It was a bad faith Big Lie all along, Turley, and you know it. Just acknowledge it.

            1. “Thomas urged Meadows to overturn the 2020 election by any means necessary, yet Turley pooh poohs her fanatical conspiracy theory.”

              Nowhere do we see evidence of a desire to overturn the election illegally. Silberman can’t produce any. Silberman makes things up as he goes along and then appears insulted when people don’t believe him. He again calls Turley disingenuous.

              I guess we have to live with the JS nutcase on this blog.

  7. To paraphrase the late Rush Limbaugh:

    “Republicans think it’s okay for them to gerrymander because they believe they are less emotional and more intelligent than Democrats.

    Democrats think it’s okay for them to gerrymander because Republicans are evil…”

  8. In a DM fail, Maryland Republican Kathy Szeliga objected to the response from Maryland Democrats Adrienne Jones and Bill Ferg by calling them “b**ches”: https://twitter.com/emilyopilo/status/1507721025898885120?s=21
    Szeliga apologized, but my guess is that she’s only sorry for hitting the wrong reply button and saying it publicly, not sorry for calling them “b**ches,” which presumably is how she thinks of them.

  9. “Marc Elias, the former Clinton Campaign general counsel accused of hiding the funding of the Steele Dossier, filed in support the gerrymandered map.”

    Marc Elias / Clinton machinery / DNC / Legacy Media lie. Full stop. End of story

  10. Oh, this will set the lefties’ hair on fire. Expect more calls for packing the court, but the Court knows that packing the Court to enforce wild gerrymandering is a suicide mission for the Democrats.

  11. Well said hullbobby. But we have to wait for it. The response by our leftist posters will with out a doubt be “but Orange Man bad!! Orange Man bad!!

    1. Elias, Hillary and Avenatti in one cell, with Stormy Daniels outside jiggling her tatas to taunt Hillary

        1. Anonymous,

          The “Svelaz” comment, “ Elias, Hillary and Avenatti in one cell, with Stormy Daniels outside jiggling her tatas to taunt Hillary”. Is impersonating me. It’s the same blog troll who has been abusing others names on the blog FYI.

          1. Thanks Svelaz, I know your political views and your icon, and I don’t confuse you and the troll.

            But I’m still wondering what crimes he or she is alleging Elias and Clinton committed.

          2. Svelaz is a sock puppet for many avatars used to post the same crap over and over, typical of leftists to lie, then whine that others are beating them at their own shitck

  12. Democrats decry Citizens United and money in politics-as they raise much more money in every election cycle and they take millions off of PUBLIC unions.

    Democrats decry gerrymandering-as they use gerrymandering to the nth degree.

    Democrats call for a ban of the filibuster because it is racist-as they use the filibuster all the time, including this term and Biden even threatened to use it against a BALCK FEMALE judge.

    Democrats called pulling in the National Guard to protect DC under Trump a fascist, militaristic maneuver-as Pelosi subsequently does so under Biden.

    Democrats screamed about RUSSIAN COLLUSION under Trump-as it was the Clinton campaign that did the colluding.

    Democrats make movies about the “Hollywood Ten” and still cry about the McCarthy Era-as they call Tulsi Gabbard a Russian spy and cancel anyone with whom they disagree.

    Democrats demand that Kavanaugh describe his weekday drinking in high school and claim he was the leader of a gang-rape pack-as they weep at asking Jackson about her prior decisions.

    Democrats attack Barrett for her faith-as they call all questions to jackson as either racist, sexist or out of bounds.

    Democrats say you can’t criticize Biden while he is abroad-as Biden tells Europe, IN EUROPE, that Trump called Nazis fine people. A known lie.

    Democrats like Twitter ban Trump-as Twitter allows China and Iran to “tweet”.

    Democrats DEMAND that we use less gas, buy smaller or electric cars and keep our homes colder in winter and hotter in summer-AS THEY JET OFF TO DAVOS IN PRIVATE JETS.

    Democrats like John Kerry want to raise taxes-as Democrats like John Kerry docked his YACHT ILLEGALLY in RI instead of his home state of MA to avoid taxes.

    Democrats like Ted Kennedy want to raise taxes all the time-as the Kennedy family had the matriarch Rose Kennedy probated in Florida, a state she hadn’t been in for TWELVE YEARS, in order to save on estate taxes.

    Democrats like Liz Warren DEMAND that billionaires, like Elon Musk, pay more in taxes, but she never wants to have Harvard pan ONE PENNY in taxes on the THIRTY-NINE BILLION dollar endowment they are sitting on.

    Jeffsilberman and Anonymous come to this site to comment 100 times a day-as everyone tries to ignore their ignorant, small-minded contrarian comments.

    To Everyone: please feel free to add any other hypocrisy by the Democrats to this list.

    1. I’m a Democrat, and I want gerrymandering outlawed in all states, regardless of who is doing it.

      How about you: do you want gerrymandering outlawed in all states, regardless of who is doing it?

        1. Are there any Trans Men (Women identifying as Men) playing in the NBA or NFL?

          Of course not….and that proves there is systemic discrimination at the two Leagues…..right?

          What percentage of Players should there be that are born female but identify as male but are excluded from playing Pro Ball?

    2. Hullbobby rants:

      “Jeffsilberman and Anonymous come to this site to comment 100 times a day-as everyone tries to ignore their ignorant, small-minded contrarian comments.”

      Get ahold of yourself man! Have you always been like this? Or do I bring it out in you?

      Do you actually believe that I comment 100 times a day? Do you think anyone will swallow such a preposterous exaggeration? Don’t you understand that saying such ludicrous falsehoods undermines your credibility? Be more like Turley and less like Trump if you wish to be taken seriously,

      Good advice. Take it.

      1. It just seems that you do since the comments are long, boring and repetitive but never enlightening.

          1. So…you write long comments because you’re short on time, and having *more* time would lead to shorter comment? Just making sure I’ve got it right.

          2. You need more time to write shorter posts, because being in a hurry leads to longer posts? Just making sure I’ve got it.

            1. (Apologies for double-posting. F5 just refreshes the page, but CTRL + F5 refreshes the cache.)

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