A federal judge approved Baltimore County Council’s second attempt to redraw council district boundaries Thursday, but civil rights groups continued to insist the map doesn’t deliver a “level playing field” for Black voters.
U.S. District Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby informed parties to the case of her decision during a conference call, Council Chairman Julian Jones said, after she ruled last month that the first map would disadvantage Black residents. He said the judge’s written opinion was expected Friday.
Jones said the judge had recognized the county’s “commitment to diversity” in working through a complex redistricting process and producing a map that “was acceptable to the court while also staying true to the will of our communities.”
The county council voted unanimously Thursday evening to approve the new redistricting map.
“I think all of us are ready to do the peoples’ work on county council,” said councilman Izzy Patoka. “Lets get on with government.”
But the plaintiffs, including the county NAACP, the League of Women Voters of Baltimore County and Common Cause-Maryland, said the plan continued to fall short.
“While the revised map that Baltimore County has now proposed is better, better is not enough to fulfill the racial justice requirements of the Voting Rights Act,” said a statement released by the groups that filed the suit.