The Supreme Court refused Monday to dismantle the 1982 remapping of the Maryland legislature, rebuffing disputes from Montgomery County and Baltimore.
C. Lawrence Wiser, a former state senator, had challenged the Montgomery part of the plan, claiming it was drawn so that incumbent legislators, all from the southern part of the county, would not be forced to face each other in any of this year's election races. Wiser, from Kensington, said the new boundaries discriminated against residents in the northern part of Montgomery.
Wiser argued that the oddly shaped districts were an example of gerrymandering and asked that the plan be thrown out. The Court of Appeals, which accepted the plan submitted by Gov. Harry Hughes and approved by the General Assembly with no changes, rejected Wiser's claim.
Yesterday, The Supreme Court found that the appeal did not raise, "a substantial federal question."
Lawyers for Hughes and the legislative delegation claimed in their rebuttal that the plan did not discriminate. "To conclude that a delegate or senator is concerned only with the interests of the citizens in that area where he or she resides is to ignore political reality," said Attorney General Stephen Sachs.
Redistricting was expected to be a major topic of controversy during the 1982 General Assembly session but the Hughes plan sailed through with only minimal problems.
The Baltimore appeal challenged the practice of electing Maryland's 47 senators and 141 delegates from 47 legislative districts. The result, said challenger Richard Andrews, for at least two Baltimore districts, was discrimination against blacks and Republicans.