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Supreme Court Hears Arguments Over Partisan Redistricting

WASHINGTON (WJZ) — On the steps of the Supreme Court Tuesday morning, Marylanders delivered a message to the nine justices inside, asking for the highest court to end gerrymandering.

"What we're here for today is to have the Supreme Court tell states to stop doing that," said Nancy Soreng with the League of Women Voters in Maryland.

When state legislatures set the boundaries for voting districts, the majority party typically draws a map designed to keep itself in power.

Two such gerrymandering cases gained headlines in lower courts, one of them in Maryland, when Republican voters challenged the redrawing of the sixth congressional district in 2011.

Now, it's up to the Supreme Court to decide if political maps are so blatantly partisan that they violate the constitution.

Standing alongside former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Tuesday, Gov. Hogan said he believes they do.

"Some 80 percent of the people in our state want to take this decision away, it's really what people want," Hogan said.

His emergency redistricting commission is already in the process of redrawing Maryland's sixth district.

"They artificially split up Western Maryland so that it could not get effectively represented. The whole section of the state, both Democrats and Republicans think that's wrong," said Walter Olson on the Emergency Commission on 6th District Gerrymandering.

But for now the commission's deadline has been put on hold pending the Supreme Court's decision.

The court is expected to issue its decision by the end of June.

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