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Parrott et al v. Lamone et al 01849

Parrott et al v. Lamone et al 01849

Page 1: Parrott et al v. Lamone et al 01849

Category:Legal Document

Number of Pages:24

Date Created:June 24, 2015

Date Uploaded to the Library:June 24, 2015

Tags:gerrymandering, maryland

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Case 1:15-cv-01849-GLR Document Filed 06/24/15 Page THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
20005 Lindenhurst Court
Hagerstown, 21742
Washingon County,
Civil Action No. __________
7899 Tuckahoe Road
Denton, 21629
Caroline County,
504 Risen Star Court
Havre Grace, 21078-2699
Harford County,
ERIC KNOWLES Amos Garrett Boulevard
Annapolis, 21401
Anne Arundel County,
8412 Garland Road
Pasedena, 21122
Anne Arundel County,
39374 Tomrose Court
Mechanicsville, 20659
St. Mary County,
4122 Sweet Air Road
Baldwin, 21013-9622
Baltimore County,
11001 Wickshire Way
North Bethesda, 20852
Case 1:15-cv-01849-GLR Document Filed 06/24/15 Page
Montgomery County,
LINDA LAMONE, her official
capacity State Administrator Elections,
151 West Street, Ste. 200
Annapolis, 21401
BOBBIE MACK, her official
capacity Chair the Maryland
State Board Elections,
151 West Street, Ste. 200
Annapolis, 21401
Plaintiffs, their attorneys, bring this action for declaratory and injunctive relief and
allege follows:
Plaintiffs are individual registered voters who seek declaratory and injunctive
relief enforce Article Section and the Due Process Clauses the Fourteenth and Fifth
Amendments the United States Constitution.
Plaintiffs seek declaratory judgment that 2011 Senate Bill Maryland
congressional districting plan, political gerrymander that violates the Constitution.
Plaintiffs seek permanent injunction prohibiting the calling, conducting,
supervising certifying any future congressional elections under Maryland congressional
districting plan. Plaintiffs further ask this Court order the creation new congressional
Case 1:15-cv-01849-GLR Document Filed 06/24/15 Page
districting plan that will not inflict the various harms voters constitutional rights that are
currently inflicted Maryland notorious congressional gerrymander.
Plaintiffs further seek costs and attorneys fees.
This Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant U.S.C. 1983,
U.S.C. 1343(a)(3) and (4), and U.S.C. 1331, this action arises under the U.S.
Constitution. Additionally, three-judge court has jurisdiction accordance with U.S.C.
2284(a) because this matter involves constitutional injuries resulting from statewide redistricting.
Furthermore, this Court has jurisdiction over Plaintiffs request for declaratory
relief pursuant U.S.C. 2201 and 2202. Jurisdiction for Plaintiffs claim for attorney
fees based U.S.C. 1988 and U.S.C. 10310(e).
Venue proper this court under U.S.C. 1391(b).
Plaintiff Neil Parrott citizen and registered voter Maryland residing
Hagerstown, Maryland, the Sixth Congressional District. Mr. Parrott also current member the Maryland House Delegates.
Plaintiff Ann Marvin citizen and registered voter Maryland residing
Denton, Maryland, the First Congressional District.
Plaintiff Lucille Stefanski citizen and registered voter Maryland residing Havre Grace, Maryland, the Second Congressional District.
Plaintiff Eric Knowles citizen and registered voter Maryland residing
Annapolis, Maryland, the Third Congressional District. Mr. Knowles ran for Congress that
Case 1:15-cv-01849-GLR Document Filed 06/24/15 Page
Plaintiff Faith Loudon citizen and registered voter Maryland residing
Pasadena, Maryland, the Fourth Congressional District. Ms. Loudon ran for Congress that
Plaintiff Matt Morgan citizen and registered voter Maryland residing
Mechanicsville, Maryland, the Fifth Congressional District. Mr. Morgan current member the Maryland House Delegates.
Plaintiff Ellen Sauerbrey citizen and registered voter Maryland residing Baldwin, Maryland, the Seventh Congressional District. Ms. Sauerbrey former member the Maryland House Delegates and twice ran for Governor Maryland.
Plaintiff Kerinne August citizen and registered voter Maryland residing North Bethesda, Maryland, the Eighth Congressional District.
All Plaintiffs are injured result the political gerrymander inherent the
State congressional districting plan.
Defendant Linda Lamone sued her official capacity Election
Administrator for the State Maryland. Defendant Lamone Maryland chief election official
and such responsible for the conduct elections within the State.
Defendant Bobbie Mack sued her official capacity Chair the
Maryland State Board Elections. Chair the State Board Elections, Defendant Mack
responsible for supervising the conduct elections the State.
Case 1:15-cv-01849-GLR Document Filed 06/24/15 Page
Maryland Congressional Districting Plan
19. October 20, 2011, the Maryland General Assembly enacted Senate Bill
establishing the State congressional districting plan, which Governor Martin Malley signed
into law later that day. This plan established the districts used for the election
Maryland eight representatives the United States House Representatives through the
release 2020 census information. The districting plan describes each district identifying
the counties, election districts, precincts, and census block designations for the areas that are
included each district.
According analysis conducted The Washington Post using data obtained
from the U.S. Census and the Maryland Department Planning, the congressional districting
plan greatly reconfigured Maryland congressional districts. Specifically, the new plan
removed approximately 1.6 million Marylanders from their previous congressional district and
placed them different district. According this same analysis, percent Marylanders
the Sixth Congressional District were removed from their previous congressional district and
placed different congressional district, were percent Marylanders the Fourth
Congressional District, percent Marylanders the Eighth Congressional District, and
percent Marylanders the Third Congressional District. total, percent all
Marylanders were removed from their previous congressional district and placed different
congressional district.
According editorial The Washington Post: The map, drafted under Mr. Malley watchful eye, mocks the idea that voting districts should compact easily
navigable. The eight districts respect neither jurisdictional boundaries nor communities
Case 1:15-cv-01849-GLR Document Filed 06/24/15 Page
interest. protect incumbents and for partisan advantage, the map has been sliced, diced,
shuffled and shattered, making districts resemble studies cubism.
22. map showing the configuration Maryland congressional districting plan
attached hereto Exhibit
Subsequent Legal Challenges the Congressional Districting Plan
Since its adoption, Maryland congressional districting plan has been the subject near constant litigation. Several these lawsuits have asserted claims political partisan
The first lawsuit assert gerrymandering claims was Fletcher Lamone, 831
Supp. 887 (D. Md. 2011). The plaintiffs that federal lawsuit argued, inter alia, that
Maryland plan was political gerrymander that violated the Equal Protection Clause the
Fourteenth Amendment. Id. 892.
The federal court Fletcher found that Senate Bill appeared political
gerrymandering under U.S. Supreme Court precedent, but held that there was judicially
manageable remedy available under federal law:
[P]laintiffs allege that Maryland redistricting plan impermissible partisan
gerrymander. [T]his claim perhaps the easiest accept factually
Maryland Republican Party regularly receives 40% the statewide vote but
might well retain only 12.5% the congressional seats. Recent cases have
reaffirmed the conceptual viability such claims, but have acknowledged that
there appear judicially discernible and manageable standards for
adjudicating political gerrymandering claims.
Fletcher, 831 Supp. 903-904 (internal citations omitted). The concurring opinion similarly
observed: [I]t clear that the plan adopted the General Assembly Maryland is, any
reasonable standard, blatant political gerrymander. Fletcher, 831 Supp. 905 (Titus, J.,
Case 1:15-cv-01849-GLR Document Filed 06/24/15 Page
The second lawsuit make claim political gerrymandering was Gorrell Malley, 2012 U.S. Dist. Lexis 6178, (D. Md. 2012). that case, the Court dismissed the
plaintiff claim that Maryland congressional district plan was unconstitutional partisan
gerrymander, characterizing the claim either nonjusticiable supported only conclusory
allegations. Id.
27. third Maryland lawsuit asserted political gerrymandering claims under the
Fourteenth Amendment, but the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed those claims after the Fletcher
decision. Olson Malley, 2012 U.S. Dist. Lexis 29917, fn. (D. Md. 2012).
28. fourth Maryland lawsuit asserted political gerrymandering violation the
Fourteenth Amendment, but the claim was dismissed for lack judicially manageable
standard that could used resolve such claim. Benisek Mack, Supp. 516, 526
(D. Md. 2014).
29. plaintiff the instant lawsuit was party any the four above-described
Plaintiff Neil Parrott was party two lawsuits Maryland state courts
concerning referendum repeal the congressional districting plan. Specifically, Delegate
Parrott was intervener Whitley State Bd. Elections, 429 Md. 132 (2012), lawsuit
brought the Maryland Democratic Party prevent the people Maryland from voting the
gerrymandering question based alleged invalid petition signatures. Subsequently, Delegate
Parrott initiated lawsuit against the State Maryland alleging the language used describe
the referendum the congressional districting plan was intentionally vague and misleading
violation Maryland constitution. The Maryland Court Special Appeals ruled against
Case 1:15-cv-01849-GLR Document Filed 06/24/15 Page
Delegate Parrott unreported 2014 opinion.1 both lawsuits, Delegate Parrott asserted
interests claims under the Maryland Constitution and Maryland state law, but not under the
United States Constitution.
The Injuries That Are the Bases for Plaintiffs Claims
Gerrymandering not primarily something that Democrats and Republicans
each other. Gerrymandering something that legislators and other state actors voters.
Plaintiffs are suing Maryland voters for injuries including the loss decision-making power
and other disadvantages peculiar gerrymandered districts that all Maryland voters endure
because the egregious gerrymandering the State congressional districts.
Voters Loss the Power Choose Representatives
32. means gerrymandering, mapmakers (legislators and their agents)
appropriate for themselves significant part the power elect legislators. matter both
democratic practice and constitutional law, that power properly belongs voters.
33. partisan gerrymander, the party charge redistricting creates (1)
relatively few districts which the opposing party enjoys supermajority, and (2) greater
number districts which one own party has smaller, but significant and winning,
majority. effectively arranging its partisans this way, the party that controls redistricting
can win more combined seats the legislature than there were gerrymander.
Maryland has established effective congressional gerrymander, virtue
which significant Republican minority, able muster about 40% the vote any given
election, elects only 12.5% the State delegation the House Representatives.
Parrott McDonough., Case No. 1445 (Md. Ct. Spc. App. 2014), available
Case 1:15-cv-01849-GLR Document Filed 06/24/15 Page
Maryland gerrymander harms all Maryland voters, regardless their party
preferences how they would vote particular election, giving State legislators the power make choices regarding the State congressional delegation that only the voters should make.
36. addition the general harm inflicted when legislators intrude powers that
should reserved voters, Maryland gerrymander inflicts particular, intentional harm
partisan and non-partisan voters every description: harms Republican voters statewide diminishing their ability elect the
candidates they prefer. harms Republican voters deliberately placed minority district where
Democrats were deliberately given majority. harms independent non-partisan voters stacking the deck favor
Democrats. harms Democratic voters deliberately placed minority the one district
where Republicans were deliberately given supermajority. harms voters who vote for the Democrat their own district but who might not
prefer particular Democratic candidate running another district. harms voters every party who might not prefer Democratic supermajority the State delegation. There are, fact, voters who ordinarily vote the party
line but who believe that divided government governs best, and who would not
vote establish supermajority even their own party if, say, the option were
presented the ballot.
37. crucial purpose the one-person-one-vote constitutional requirement
ensure that voters retain the power choose their representatives. the extent that transfers
Case 1:15-cv-01849-GLR Document Filed 06/24/15 Page
this power Maryland legislators, Maryland congressional gerrymander circumvents the
one-person-one-vote standard, frustrates its purpose, and diminishes its efficacy.
Article Section the U.S. Constitution provides: The House
Representatives shall composed Members chosen every second Year the People the
several States Maryland partisan congressional gerrymander violates this provision
transferring the power select representatives from the people including Plaintiffs
Maryland legislators.
Disadvantages Peculiar Gerrymandered Districts
39. order gerrymander, mapmakers need arrange both their own partisans and
those their electoral opponents particular district configurations maximize the
voting strength their own partisans.
Because voters not choose where live suit the purposes legislators
trying draw gerrymandered districts, those legislators must distort district boundaries create
districts that contain the mix voters that best achieves their partisan goals.
Maryland congressional districting plan, which example effective,
partisan gerrymander, contains wildly deformed districts.
Maryland congressional districting plan illustrates the need create non-
compact districts order gerrymander. Those who drew and approved Maryland bizarrelooking districts would not have invited multiple lawsuits for gerrymandering, and would not
have held the State public ridicule account those districts appearance, the desired
partisan result could have been achieved some other way.
The exceedingly non-compact districts caused gerrymandering inflict
number burdens Maryland voters.
Case 1:15-cv-01849-GLR Document Filed 06/24/15 Page
Gerrymandered districts divide political boundaries and fracture the political
communities interest they delineate.
The following metrics are commonly used social scientists measure the
extent which district plan ignores existing political boundaries: split county any county that divided district line. county fragment created when any parts county, rather than the whole
county, are contained within district. split precinct any voter precinct that divided district line.
Maryland gerrymandered district plan produces many split counties, county
fragments, and split precincts, indicating that the district plan ignores political boundaries and
fragments political communities interest.
Exceedingly non-compact districts confuse voters regarding such basic matters
which district they reside in, who represents them, who running for office their district, and
where they vote.
Non-compact, gerrymandered districts make harder for candidates and their
political campaigns use mass media target primarily the voters their congressional
district. Because gerrymandered districts are non-compact, mass media advertisements tend
reach across district lines significant numbers citizens outside the intended district. This
further confuses voters who running for office their districts. also diminishes the
value mass media advertisements making them less cost-effective.
Exceedingly non-compact districts make campaigning more expensive, given that
candidates have expend resources educate voters about which district they reside and
which candidates they are voting for; have harder time traveling the district and convincing
Case 1:15-cv-01849-GLR Document Filed 06/24/15 Page
their supporters so; and have waste resources mass media campaigns that reach many
voters residing other districts.
Because gerrymandered districts are confusing, mass media advertisements are
less effective, and candidates have work harder and spend more get information voters,
voters gerrymandered districts have harder time staying informed about elections.
These burdens are inflicted voters gerrymandered districts public
purpose and for good reason.
The Necessity for Court Intervention
Where partisan mapmakers acquire the technical ability participate the
selection legislators, the problem cannot remedied ordinary democratic means that is, holding more elections. Rather, the problem becomes chronic, persistent failure
democracy, which requires action federal courts.
Because Maryland gerrymander the partisan interest those who drew the
district lines issue, will not remedied without the intervention this Court.
Using District Compactness Scores Manageable
Standard Adjudicate Political Gerrymandering Claims
Plaintiffs aver that there are judicially discernible and manageable standards for
determining whether districts have been gerrymandered. particular, Plaintiffs aver that
straightforward application mathematically derived compactness measure congressional
districts can used judicially manageable, discernable, and non-arbitrary standard with
which measure, and deter, excessive partisan gerrymandering.
Case 1:15-cv-01849-GLR Document Filed 06/24/15 Page
The extent which Maryland congressional districts are distorted
gerrymandering can quantified using the Polsby-Popper compactness scale.2 This scale
mathematical test shape compactness. measures the compactness electoral district dividing (1) the area the actual district (2) the area hypothetical circle having the
same perimeter length the district.
For any district, its Polsby-Popper compactness score may determined
means the following formula: (the area the district)
(the perimeter length the district)2
This formula produces scores scale from with being the least compact and being
the most compact. These raw scores typically are multiplied 100 produce scale from
100, with 100 being the most compact.
The Polsby-Popper scale does not mandate any particular, fixed, minimum
scores. Rather, used only way compare different districts district plans.
The Polsby-Popper scale one the most widely used measures electoral
district compactness. Social scientists discussing testifying about district compactness
routinely utilize this measure, and courts routinely accept its use. Most redistricting software
used state legislatures will automatically calculate each district Polsby-Popper scores.
59. information and belief, Maryland state legislature drew its congressional
districts using the Maptitude software program, which automatically calculates each district
Polsby-Popper scores.
This standard and its use were described Daniel Polsby and Robert Popper, The Third Criterion:
Compactness Procedural Safeguard against Partisan Gerrymandering, YALE POL REV. 301 (1991).
Mr. Popper co-counsel for Plaintiffs.
Case 1:15-cv-01849-GLR Document Filed 06/24/15 Page
Maryland congressional districts have average Polsby-Popper compactness
score 11.3. This the lowest (worst) average compactness score for congressional districts
any state the nation.
Maryland Third Congressional District has Polsby-Popper compactness score 3.22. This the second lowest-scoring congressional district the nation (only slightly
better than North Carolina Twelfth Congressional District.)
62. compactness measure like the Polsby-Popper scale can easily applied
restrain partisan gerrymandering. Plaintiffs respectfully submit that proposed district plan
cannot constitutional badly gerrymandered that another district plan, consistent with
all other applicable legal requirements, could drawn which the average compactness score higher, and which the compactness score least one district least two times higher
than its ranked counterpart the proposed plan.
63. always may determined whether district plan meets this simple, bright-line
This standard will prevent the worst excesses partisan gerrymandering and the
creation the most wildly contorted districts. Indeed, the situations where will apply where
overall compactness can improved while the compactness particular district improved factor two will restricted very bad gerrymanders, like Maryland
This standard still practical and forgiving. allows legislators considerable
leeway account for other legitimate redistricting interests, like the creation districts
containing bona fide communities interest.
This standard applies non-arbitrary, consistent rule that will prevent the most
egregious kinds gerrymandering.
Case 1:15-cv-01849-GLR Document Filed 06/24/15 Page
This compactness standard can applied consistently with every other federal
and state legal requirement concerning redistricting.
Comparing Maryland District Plan With Illustrative Plan
The scores for each Maryland current congressional districts the Polsby-
Popper scale (out possible 100) are:
Plaintiffs have attached Exhibit hypothetical district map. Its Polsby-
Popper scores are:
All the congressional districts Plaintiffs district plan have populations that
are equal mathematically possible and equal Maryland current district plan.
Case 1:15-cv-01849-GLR Document Filed 06/24/15 Page
Plaintiffs district plan has fewer split counties than does the current Maryland
district plan. Specifically, Plaintiffs district plan has split counties, and the current Maryland
plan has split counties.
Plaintiffs district plan has significantly fewer county fragments than does the
current Maryland district plan. Specifically, Plaintiffs district plan has county fragments, and
the current Maryland plan has county fragments.
Plaintiffs district plan has far fewer split precincts than does the current
Maryland district plan. Specifically, Plaintiffs district plan has 110 split precincts, and the
current Maryland plan has 172 split precincts.
Because Plaintiffs plan has fewer split counties, significantly fewer county
fragments, and far fewer split precincts, than Maryland current plan, Plaintiffs plan superior Maryland plan preserving local political boundaries and the communities interest they
Compared the districts Maryland current plan, the districts Plaintiffs
district plan are vastly more compact. Ranking the districts each plan order compactness
from lowest highest, the percentage difference ranked compactness scores follows:
Case 1:15-cv-01849-GLR Document Filed 06/24/15 Page
Maryland Current Plan
Plaintiffs Plan
Percent Increase Compactness
Plaintiffs Plan
The lowest scoring district Plaintiffs district plan (at 12.9) scores better than Maryland current districts indeed, scores better than Maryland current average 11.3.
The dramatic improvement Plaintiffs were able achieve the compactness
every single district explained the simple fact that Maryland district plan the most
gerrymandered and least compact the nation.
The dramatic improvement demonstrated Plaintiffs illustrative plan also
proves that the non-compactness Maryland current districts not due the unusual shape the State Maryland. Rather, this non-compactness due the deliberately bizarre district
lines Maryland legislators drew order gerrymander, any visual review its district plan
Maryland congressional districts are gerrymandered and non-compact that
the results achieved Plaintiffs drawing alternative easily could replicated. other
words, countless other plans could drawn which (1) equal district population was achieved,
(2) the integrity communities was more respected than Maryland current district plan,
and (3) district compactness was improved many multiples the current compactness scores.
District scores are rounded. Averages and percentages are based actual, not rounded, scores.
Case 1:15-cv-01849-GLR Document Filed 06/24/15 Page
COUNT Restricting the Power the People
Choose Their Representatives Violation Article Section
Plaintiffs incorporate reference all preceding paragraphs fully set forth
Article Section the U.S. Constitution provides relevant part: The House
herein. Representatives shall composed Members chosen every second Year the People
the several States
82. the case partisan congressional gerrymander like that Maryland, the
power select representatives transferred, significant part, from the people interested
mapmakers the legislature.
Maryland partisan congressional gerrymander violates Article Section
transferring the power select representatives from the people including Plaintiffs
Maryland legislators, and should enjoined.
COUNT Burdening the Right Vote Violation the
Due Process Clauses the Fourteenth and Fifth Amendments.
Plaintiffs incorporate reference all preceding paragraphs fully set forth
Voting fundamental right protected the Due Process Clauses the
Fourteenth and the Fifth Amendments the U.S. Constitution.
86. inflicting electoral harms arising from non-compact districts, gerrymandering
burdens Plaintiffs right vote violation their constitutional right Due Process.
Case 1:15-cv-01849-GLR Document Filed 06/24/15 Page
Wherefore, Plaintiffs respectfully pray that this Court:
Assume jurisdiction and request three judge panel pursuant U.S.C. 2284;
Issue declaratory judgment finding that the congressional districting plan
illegally and unconstitutionally injures Plaintiffs and unlawful;
Permanently enjoin Defendants from calling, holding, certifying any elections
under the congressional districting plan;
Order State authorities adopt new congressional districting plan without
unlawful politically gerrymanders consistent with the compactness standards articulated this
Complaint; the State fails adopt such plan the Court reasonable deadline, order the
use new congressional districting plan the Court choosing;
Order Defendants pay Plaintiffs reasonable attorney fees, including litigation
expenses and costs, pursuant U.S.C. 10310(e) and U.S.C. 1988;
Retain jurisdiction issue any and all further orders that are necessary satisfy
the ends justice; and
Case 1:15-cv-01849-GLR Document Filed 06/24/15 Page
Award Plaintiffs any and all further relief that this Court deems just and proper.
June 24, 2015
Respectfully submitted, Robert Popper
Paul Orfanedes, MDD No. 22470
Robert Popper, MDD No. 12607
Chris Fedeli, MDD No. 12471
Lauren Burke, Bar 670840
425 Third Street SW, Ste. 800
Washington, 20024
Tel: (202) 646-5172
Fax: (202) 646-5185
Case 1:15-cv-01849-GLR Document 1-1 Filed 06/24/15 Page
Maryland Current Congressional Districting Plan
Case 1:15-cv-01849-GLR Document 1-1 Filed 06/24/15 Page
Case 1:15-cv-01849-GLR Document 1-2 Filed 06/24/15 Page
Plaintiffs Compact Maryland Districting Plan
Case 1:15-cv-01849-GLR Document 1-2 Filed 06/24/15 Page