Two Baltimore County senators, unhappy with their new districts under Gov. Martin O'Malley's legislative redistricting plan, have sued to have the maps overturned, claiming they give Baltimore city extra representation at the expense of the county.
Sens. Delores Kelley and James Brochin, both Democrats, asked the Court of Appeals to invalidate the resistricting plan that automatically took effect this year when the General Assembly did not move to replace O'Malley's plan with one of its own.
The plan is especially disadvantageous for Brochin, whose closely contested former district would become heavily Republican under the plan devised by O'Malley and legislative leaders. Kelley, too, has expressed dissatisfaction with a map that puts much of her former 10th District base in the 44th District, which under the new map crosss the city-county line.
Assistant Attorney General Dan Friedman, counsel to the General Assembly, expressed confidence the plan will be upheld by the state's highest court, which hears challenges to legislative redistricting.
"The plan is constitutionally and legally sufficient and we look forward to defending it," he said. The suit was one of four filed Tuesday, the deadline for challenges to the redistricting plan.
In their suit, Brochin and Kelley contend that by extending the 44th District across the city-county line, the map violates a state constitutional requirement that "due regard" be given to political boundaries beetween subdivisions.
The incumbent senator in the 44th is Verna Jones-Rodwell, a Democrat who lives in the city. If she can hold the seat, Baltimore city would likely continue to be home to six resident senators. Brochin and Kelley contend in their suit that Baltimore city was entitled to only five districts, wholly contained within its borders.
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