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. 70 Americans sit in prison without bail for protesting against the corruption in government and the manipulation of our election. I guess they should have broken the law on NY or San Fran?

    Each day more and more is revealed just how deep and far the corruption in government goes yet nothing is done. So how can these things be stopped, who can be trusted for honest governance?

    1. They’re not in jail “for protesting.” They’re in jail without because they’ve been indicted for crimes (links to all of their indictments: ), and they’re being held without bail because they were either too violent or too great a flight risk to release pending trial, just like thousands of other people across the country.

      1. How utterly stupid that comment was…..we see those accused of murders….when they are caught in the act and their crimes are on video……get Bonded out or released at no cost pending their Trial……yet January 6th people are held without any chance of bond and no speedy trial.

        Enough of your crap!

        1. Kyle Rittenhouse was charged with murder but was out on bail pending trial. Are you complaining about that? Not everyone who is charged with a violent crime is guilty, not everyone who is charged with a violent crime is determined by a judge to be at risk of continued violence.

          You say “when they are caught in the act and their crimes are on video” as if most of the Jan. 6 defendants weren’t caught on video committing crimes. Have you bothered to look at the evidence being presented in the Jan. 6 cases?

          As for “January 6th people are held without any chance of bond and no speedy trial,” over 800 people have been charged, and the vast majority have NOT been held pending trial/plea. Their trials aren’t taking longer on average than the trials of people charged with other federal crimes across the country, and I’d believe that you’re truly concerned about speedy trials if you cared about everyone held in jail pending trial, especially those who are in jail simply because they’re too poor to pay bail.

  2. Haven’t you heard the expression: “All’s fair in love and war? ” That also includes politics.

    1. The expression might exist but is not true. What you support is might makes right. That is the way of rule for people like Stalin, Mao, Putin and every other dictator that rules humans through brute force.

  3. There’s clear evidence that Democrats will do almost anything to consolidate power – cheating, unethical laws, purposeful extra-Constitutional behavior. It’s an 80/20 rule (Dems/Republicans) in terms of cheaters but the vast majority of the cheating, especially the attempts to make it “systemic” cheating are by Democrats, who try to subvert elections by voting against Voter ID, by sending out ballots to voter rolls that are horribly inaccurate, etc. In 2020, Democrat governors usurped rights they were not granted in their state Constitutions and by-laws (PA is a prime example) to allow for the abuse of elections and resultant cheating.

    The Democrats don’t believe in democracy – just power and abuse of it.

  4. I do hope there is a lawsuit filed in NY for the gerrymandering of Elise Stefanik’s district. We up here in the ultra-conservative Northern New York counties are now going to be attached to the leftist Western NY district that encompasses Buffalo and Rochester. Tell me that wasn’t done out of spite by the dem hatchet men who run Albany thanks to that cesspool at the bottom of our state : NYC.

  5. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I have yet to see any mention of this decision on mainstream nedia….P.S., nice comment, Joel T.

    1. What! and have the media expose their brother rats for the subversive enemies of democracy that they are? What a silly question to even contemplate their actions as to be anywhere near honest.

      1. Alma: You are correct. Apparently, the frequently-invoked word of “inclusiveness” does not apply to the “inclusion” of factual matter that is contrary to the progressive left-wing agenda…

    2. Since you asked to be corrected: you’re wrong.

      And if you’d simply done an internet search on appropriate terms, you’d have been able to see that instead of asking others to correct you.

      Examples of MSM reporting on it:

      A good blog for election law:

      1. Anonymous: Perhaps you did not notice that I expressly said, “ON mainstream media,” not “IN general print media.” Of course, that means that I was referring to Television and Radio broadcasting. I regret that precise language has diminished value these days….Thanks anyway.

        1. lin, actually you “expressly said” “any mention … on mainstream nedia.” You’re mistaken that a “mention on mainstream media” is restricted to TV and radio; a mention “on” a printed page and “on” a website is also correct. Since you value precision, and given your subsequent clarification that you intended to exclude mainstream print media and restrict the mainstream media in question to TV and radio, it would have been clearer for you to say “any mention … on mainstream TV or radio.”

          “I was referring to Television and Radio broadcasting.”

          One can also find mainstream TV and Radio stations broadcasting this news. Maybe you’re not good at refining your online searches, or maybe you didn’t look. If you did look but failed to find any examples, just share what search terms you used, and I’ll help you get better at searching.

          1. Anonymous: The correct grammar when referencing mainstream media listings on Internet sites is “in print media,” not “on print media,” The Internet sites you reference refer to all involve scripted media, not visual or aural/oral media, and therefore qualify as “in print media,” see, e.g., Therefore, I stand by my reference to “on mainstream media.”
            If you wish to argue such silliness, please reference an Internet visual or aural presentation of a mainstream media broadcast on this judicial decision. If you cannot, then all your Internet references are inapplicable, thanks anyway.

            1. lin, you didn’t say “print media.” You said “mainstream media,” and the phrase “mainstream media” includes print, TV, and radio.

              I see that you’re unwilling to present your search terms. I doubt that you even tried searching, and I suspect that your internet search skills

              “please reference an Internet visual or aural presentation of a mainstream media broadcast on this judicial decision.”

              Sure, is public radio mainstream enough for you?
     (click “listen”)
              Is NBC mainstream enough for you?

              1. I smile. Both WALTV and WYPR are LOCAL public radio entities limitedly licensed for the Baltimore, MD audiences–of course, the subject judicial decision we are talking about involves MARYLAND. Your sole example, therefore, by definition alone, hardly qualifies as mainstream media–despite your concerted effort. In fact,-mainstream media, irrespective of medium, refers to news intended to reach “LARGE MASSES” of the general public-please look it up–especially your favorite source, Wikipedia. Second, your diatribe about “printed media” is meaningless, because my mention of it was merely to distinguish my use of the word “on” instead of “in,”–do you understand that? Third, you continue to attempt new (amusing) jabs, but I revert back to my original comment in which I said “ON mainstream media,” and I stand by that comment. I suggest to you that others understood what I meant..good evening.

                1. Wikipedia isn’t my “favorite source,” and your choice to lie about that only reflects on you. WP has its uses (e.g., as a centralized source for linked references that have more information), but it is quite forthright about its limitations: “Wikipedia cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here” (

                  When I want to know how something is defined, I look in a dictionary, not WP, as dictionaries are the standard reference for definitions and are more reliable than WP pages.

                  “please look it up”

                  More of your laziness in telling someone else to get evidence for you, but OK, I’ll oblige this time. An example:
                  “noun [treated as singular or plural] (the mainstream media)
                  “Traditional or established broadcasting or publishing outlets.”

                  If you’re not familiar with Lexico, it’s a free online dictionary jointly produced by (1) (which draws on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary) and (2) the Oxford University Press (publisher of the Oxford English Dictionary). Interestingly, the OED itself doesn’t have an entry for “mainstream media.”

                  Don’t like Lexico? Here’s another example from another standard dictionary:
                  “singular noun [with sing or pl verb]
                  “The mainstream media refers to conventional newspapers, television and other news sources that most people know about and regard as reliable.

                  “Your sole example…”

                  I gave you two examples, one from radio and one from TV. Both satisfy standard definitions of “mainstream media” whether you can admit it or not, so both are examples of what you asked for, namely, “an Internet visual or aural presentation of a mainstream media broadcast on this judicial decision.” Local affiliates of large networks are mainstream media. When many people watch or listen to NBC, NPR, Fox, etc., they’re watching or listening to their local NBC, NPR, Fox, … affiliate.

                  “my mention of it was merely to distinguish my use of the word “on” instead of “in,”–do you understand that?”

                  Yes, I understood your intent. Do *you* understand that a mention “on” a printed page and “on” a website is also correct, so your harping about “on” vs. “in” doesn’t actually distinguish between print and broadcast?

                  But go ahead, keep demanding that others provide you with examples and then find reasons to reject the examples. I’m not going to waste any more time on this.

    3. Lin, mainstream media is covering bigger issues like the war in Ukraine and the Jackson confirmation hearings. Gerrymandering issues are mostly local problems.

      Extreme gerrymandering is nothing new. Republicans have been doing that for years.

      I have noticed Turley is fond of using the word “raw” a lot. “Raw” corruption, “raw” influence peddling, etc. all designed to illicit a nefariousness behind the activities.

      1. “Lin, mainstream media is covering bigger issues like the war in Ukraine and the Jackson confirmation hearings. Gerrymandering issues are mostly local problems.”

        Svelaz, that is why the Constitution left that type of decision to the states. No need to respond, though you may have a need to look this up.

        1. S. Meyer, states are limited in how far they can gerrymander by the federal government. Especially when it comes to race. That’s why southern states had to ask permission from the federal government when it came to gerrymandering before the Supreme Court changed that. They still can’t gerrymander based on race, but they don’t have to ask permission anymore.

          1. The feds state some states can’t gerrymander based on race. However, other states do just that. A bit peculiar, but something the hypocrites on the left support.

      2. Svelaz: I agree that Ukraine is a bigger story. Second, gerrymandering is not local; its primary impact is at the STATE level. Third, are you complaining that the professor only invokes the word “raw” when referring to Democrats’ actions?

        1. Lin, isn’t a state gerrymandering a “local” issue? The impact begins at the local level affecting the state. No?

          Not complaining, just an observation.

          1. Respectfully opine that “local” issues involve county and municipal legislative measures. I believe I have NEVER encountered a judicial opinion referring to a state legislative measure as a “local” measure….Likewise, I don’t think “local” municipalities/counties enact measures that define voting districts.

  6. Humans react to incentives. The solution to gerrymandering, is slashing the Federal govt to enumerated powers only. States elect those promising to share a small portion of the grift with states.
    There are good templates in existence. Solution is already in practice successfully.

    Maryland…Isn’t the great Chris Coons from Maryland? I know he is an expert on unethical gerrymandering. Alas his expertise is somehow ignored by the Dems that elect him. Its almost like Coons is only against gerrymandering if it is a Republican State. While he leads the charge when Democrats are in charge. My shocked face is already worn out.

    In other news, A federal court slapped back the Wisconsin Supreme court…because the court drew the map, when it rejected the one created by the legislature. For some reason a panel of judges were too stupid to understand the State Constitution specific language that empowers the legislature to define legislative districts.

  7. Just one more example why we of the Constiutional Republic should NOT TOLERATE the Socialist Fascists pretending to be democratic. Drive the pseudo pretenders OUT. Reject and Eject as enemies of our nation. And that is a Constitutional CENTRIST point of view.

  8. Gerry Mander ran a whore house in Baltimore during the civil war. After the war he moved it to Las Vegas. Out there he had some laws passed to allow whore houses.

    1. Liberty2nd: Seriously, have you considered seeking mental health experts who can help you?

  9. We see some state courts saying any gerrymandering is good, and some are blocking bag maps. We need a federal law banning gerrymandering across the nation.

    1. We need a federal law banning gerrymandering across the nation.

      Take a remedial class on civics..
      Jr. High stuff here. The States are in charge of elections. NOT the federal govt. It is fundamental to federalism.

      1. States are in charge of elections but are still subject to constitutional federal legislation, such as the Voting Rights Act and the Federal Election Campaign Act. You apparently believe that any federal anti-gerrymandering legislation would be unconstitutional. You could easily read legal scholarship countering that belief, such as:
        O’Neill, Brian. “The Case for Federal Anti-Gerrymandering Legislation.” U. Mich. JL Reform 38 (2004): 683.
        Karapetyan, Alexander, and Stephen M. Maurer. “Picking up the Pieces: Options for Federal Anti-Gerrymandering Law after Rucho.” Wake Forest JL & Pol’y 11 (2020): 237.

        1. “The Case for Federal Anti-Gerrymandering Legislation.”

          You miss the point. Whether the above is good or bad, it has to deal with the Constitution and the enumerated rights contained within it.

    2. ATS, this type of limited thinking should be discouraged. Firstly, states should be in charge of the rules. I’m not happy with the way states have managed this question, but gerrymandering has its good points. Take a farming state where vast areas are covered with farms. A small city that could fit in the corner of one of those farms might have a much greater population. Put them together and the farmers, who are essential to our nation, have no vote.

      I am not advocating one over the other. I am supporting thinking and concern over how people are represented. I think it was Zoe Baird, a leftist, who had similar concerns in a different area. The problem is that leftists can only concentrate on one thought at a time, leaving hypocrisy to rule their world.

      1. You bring up a point that Republicans make often, that the small (area) cities will outvote the larger rural areas. The basis of this argument goes way back to the days when the right to vote was linked to property ownership. That idea has long since been abandoned with the “one person one vote” doctrine. So no, owning more land should not get your vote to count more.

        1. “when the right to vote was linked to property ownership. That idea has long since been abandoned with the “one person one vote”

          That is true, ATS. I believe in one man, one vote, but that is why the federal government has ruined that type of system. It overstepped its boundaries, so one man one vote is rapidly becoming a vote for federal assistance to individuals that are non-productive or working in such positions that they churn money for their own benefit. We are now a nation of people fearing the loss of our “entitlements.”

          That is why federalism is so important, as is the restriction of federal authorities to those things enumerated in the Constitution. Without doing that, the federal government’s aims (based on the founding of this nation) become perverted.

        2. That idea has long since been abandoned with the “one person one vote” doctrine.
          What amendment was that?

  10. I’m a Democrat. I oppose gerrymandering, and I’d like Congress to pass legislation outlawing it. There are a number of neutral ways to draw Congressional districts, for example by using a shortest splitline algorithm:

    Until it is outlawed in all states, it will occur.

    1. Anonymous: Sure, Congress will fix that. Right after they take care of term limits.

      1. That I’d like Congress to do something does not imply that I expect it will.

        FWIW, the House did pass legislation requiring states to use independent redistricting commissions; however, the Senate Republicans have filibustered the bill, which also includes other regulations.

  11. Gerrymandering is as old as politics is old….one side is always trying to tip the balance of the scale.

    Last I heard the Supreme Court has ruled that Gerrymandering falls within the description of “Politics” and it has been loathe to stick its oar into those muddy waters.

    Scholars should study North Carolina’s struggle over Gerrymandering for classic examples of how that battle is fought.

    The Democrats had no problem with Gerrymandering…..during their more than a Century long control of the State Government.

    Since the advent of a dominant Republican Majority within the State’s Electorate… most Counties are predominantly Republican and major urban areas within those Counties are predominantly Democrat…..the Democrats have had to resort to their tried and true strategy of using Democrat Majority controlled Courts to win cases hobbling Republican efforts to craft new District Maps….no matter how open and transparent those efforts by the Legislature has been.

    When the process is streamed live on TV, the Public has been invited to personally attend the sessions and observe the process and procedures, the Democrats have invariably gone to the Courts…..claiming of course that each and every map drawn by the Legislature is raw rank Gerrymandering…..even when the Republicans used the best science available to craft those districts.

    A simple comparison of the many maps drawn by the Republicans to those drawn by the Democrats clearly show how much better the results offered by the Republicans were compared to the Democrat maps of the past.

    Yesterday, I had the wonderful privilege of listening to a Democrat being interviewed by the Raleigh Radio Station where this was a topic of discussion. The one thing that stood out….as it was factually true as compared to the rest of his offerings done in a wonderful Foghorn Leghorn delivery…..was his original District (some Thirty Years or so ago) contained five Counties that ran from Raleigh all the way to Asheboro…..but now his District is much smaller geographically due to the tremendous population growth in the Raleigh-Research Triangle Area.

    Drawing of District Maps is not an easy thing…especially when Democrats invariably charge each effort as being corrupt (unless it is them that are doing the drawing).

    Sometimes , one must just accept that there are other issues and factors that are at play when new Districts are being drawn that all compete in being the criteria used.

    Splitting Cities and Counties between Districts is something that must be considered as a top priority as there are real issues that inform against splitting them up…..despite the difference in Voter alliances between urban and rural residents.

    Same goes for Race… it hard to understand that large citiies tend to have a greater array of ethnic groups than do rural areas?

    The North Carolina Democrat Party insisted it (the Party) be a Protected Class citing the reason as being more Blacks vote Democrat than do Black vote Republican.

    The four Democrat Justices on the Supreme Court voted against the Republican controlled Legislature drawn Maps using that public and transparent process.

    End Result….is Court Ordered Gerrymandering favoring the Democrats.

    Think I am wrong… your own research on this.

      1. S. Meyer – I forgot to click the box so I could get comments when I wrote my first diatribe. “Test” is used so I can check the box. 🙂

  12. All I know is AZ got screwed out of two new Reps last time and we probably did again. We supposedly have a ‘neutral’ body that divides things up, but last time the ‘neutral’ body was actually Democratic.

  13. There is NO ONE on the planet more hate filled, greedy, lying, cheating, hypocrite than a Democrat!

  14. Having lost the 2016 presidential election, Dems are determined never to lose power again.

    So they manipulate every opportunity to disenfranchise Republicans.

    And they are sanctimonious about it.

    Just read the posts by our resident lefties.

    1. A truly laughable statement when saddled next to the saga of hunter biden and his pappy.

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

      1. “This is a Republican partisan blog”

        ATS, Perhaps you are not used to so many people thinking and speaking up. If it is a Republican blog, it is run by a Democrat whose posters include a lot of former Democrats. I was one of them.

        1. In the past, before Trump, this blog was mostly neutral, focusing on legal issues. But now it is completely Republican. It is clear that JT will commonly fault Ds while giving Rs a pass on worse conduct. He loves to call out the NYT and WP for any slip up, yet gives Fox and OAN a pass.

          1. ATS, Trump hit a chord amongst those who actually work for a living and have children, along with a lot of other Americans that are being disenfranchised by leftist would be dictators. I was a Democrat for most of my life. I became a Republican to support certain individuals before Trump, and now because of the same dissatisfaction I had with Democrats, I have left the Republican Party to become independent.

            The left represents the billionaire. We saw the left in action closing down family businesses while letting the big billionaires function and take over the family business without having to buy the family out. One example is Amazon, owned by Jeff Bezos, who in one year earned $75 Billion because Democrats forced smaller businesses to close and go out of business so that Amazon profited from the people’s losses. We saw that in varying states where companies like WalMart could sell paint but the family paint store had to close.

            This has been going on for a long time. The government is growing, taking over the rights of states and the people. It is expanding globally, trying to make us live under the laws of the global community. The government wants us to be like others faced with few liberties, higher prices and a lower standard of living. The super-rich can fly worldwide, polluting it while spending the money they obtained from government actions.

            JT is discussing legal issues. He will target fascists of any stripe. It just so happens that fascism resides in Democrat politics.

          2. In the past, before Trump, this blog was mostly neutral, focusing on legal issues……It is clear that JT will commonly fault Ds while giving Rs a pass on worse conduct

            Your wording reads eerily similar to mine but strangely your verbiage reads like so many other sock puppets. Fortunately I never use a fake account.

  15. In the 1840’s, and for some time thereafter, the Democrat Party (mostly Southerners) referred to itself as the Democracy. So when I see people like Elias referring to anti-Democracy, I simply assume that they are referring to any and all opposition to their (D’s) efforts to cement themselves in power. It has absolutely nothing to do with a form of government; it just means their role in a one-party system. Maybe the R’s should talking about threats to a republican form of government (which appear to be real)

    Also, I hope that if the R’s do take the House in the fall, that they do not engage in traditional political one-up-man ship and launch a bevy of investigations. With one exception – Elias. This person is dangerous to the future of the two party system and needs to be taken down a peg or three

    1. For some reason, though we are actually a Republic, that word is almost never used to describe our political system. The word Democratic is the generic term and that is how most would describe us. The Democrats have done a truly fine job of using that term, since most people equate Democrat with Democratic.
      In addition, I would guess that the average person does not really know what a “Republic” actually is.

      We can thank our media and educational systems for that lack of awareness and understanding.

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