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Trial date set for challenges to Md. legislative redistricting

Special Magistrate Alan M. Wilner, a retired Court of Appeals judge.

A series of challenges to Maryland’s legislative redistricting plan will go to trial starting March 22, the state court system announced Tuesday.

The bench trial will take place before Special Magistrate Alan M. Wilner, a retired Court of Appeals judge who also handled redistricting challenges a decade ago.

The proceeding will take place at the Court of Appeals in Annapolis and will be broadcast live online.

Wilner will have to contend with a number of complex disputes over the redistricting plan that Maryland’s General Assembly adopted in January.

Four lawsuits have been filed over the map, including by two separate groups of Republican delegates. The petitions claim that the redistricting maps fail to meet the requirements in the Maryland Constitution for districts that are compact, contiguous and mindful of natural and jurisdictional boundaries.

The Maryland Attorney General’s Office filed motions to dismiss each lawsuit.

Court of Appeals Chief Judge Joseph Getty consolidated the challenges, which have already led to revised 2022 candidate filing deadlines. A state elections official said last month that the ongoing litigation could also force a delay of the June 28 primary.

Wilner has indicated in court filings that he intends to file his report with the Court of Appeals on April 5.