Good Reads You May Have Missed

An occasional feature in Maryland Matters News on the redistricting front: A U.S. District Court in North Carolina on Monday ruled that the state’s congressional map is the product of a partisan gerrymander drawn by Republicans to favor Republicans. According to media accounts, the ruling could result in the state’s district lines being redrawn before the November election. And that could be a factor in whether the Democrats retake control of the House of Representatives.  This was one of three redistricting cases that the U.S. Supreme Court heard last term and returned to local courts for further action. A challenge to the boundaries in Maryland’s 6th congressional district was one of the others. The map used in North Carolina’s 2016 congressional elections had already been redrawn after a federal court found  that two of the districts in the state’s congressional map drawn after the 2010 Census were the products of racial gerrymandering. The partisan map that followed produced a 10-3 advantage for the GOP — even though the state has become a battleground in presidential elections. North Carolina and national media outlets provided fine coverage of the ruling on Monday. But a more thorough examination of the national and statewide political and legal implications can be found on the website Election Law Blog, which is written by law professor and election expert Rick Hasen. Check it out here. Meanwhile, The New York Times in its Sunday Review section carried a thoughtful commentary on the state of American Socialism — or Democratic Socialism, if you prefer. Written by Brooklyn College political scientist Corey Robin, it addressed both the arguments being advanced by modern-day American Socialists, and looks at the political appeal of successful young politicians who are labeling themselves as such. No, Maryland Democratic gubernatorial nominee Benjamin T. Jealous is not mentioned in the article. But given the debate in Maryland about his views — some of it reasoned, some of it demagogic — this commentary adds welcome context. Check it out here.

Josh Kurtz
Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.


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