GOP gets possible redistricting edge
Republicans who would like to see the Democratic-drawn plan for congressional redistricting overturned got a potential advantage as two appointees of GOP presidents were selected for the three-judge panel that will hear a federal lawsuit challenging the map adopted by the General Assembly.
William B. Traxler Jr., chief judge of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, appointed Circuit Judge Paul V. Niemeyer and District of Maryland Judges Alexander Williams Jr. and Roger W. Titus to hear the case. Niemeyer and Titus were appointed to the federal bench by Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Williams was named by Democrat Bill Clinton.
The suit was not brought by the Maryland Republican Party but was spearheaded by the Fannie Lou Hamer Political Action Committee. State Republicans have been openly supportive of the challenge, which drew the map in a way that would give Democrats a good shot at seizing seven of the state's eight House seats.