BALTIMORE (AP) - A panel of federal judges has ruled that Maryland officials must draw up a new congressional redistricting plan that isn't tainted by partisan gerrymandering.
The three-judge panel on Wednesday ordered the state to submit the new map by March 7. Otherwise, the court will appoint a commission to produce a redistricting plan for use in the 2020 congressional election.
Several Republican voters sued over the boundaries of one of Maryland's eight congressional districts, claiming state officials unfairly redrew it in 2011 to favor Democrats.
The federal judges say the state must redraw the 6th congressional district's lines using "traditional criteria for redistricting," showing regard for "natural boundaries."
Redistricting maps are drawn by the governor and approved by the state's General Assembly, which is currently controlled by Democrats.