The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed Monday a lower court's ruling upholding Maryland's new congressional redistricting plan, which counts inmates as living at their last-known addresses instead of in their prison cells. But it may not be the last word on the matter.
Some Republican lawmakers opposed to the map, drawn once each decade based on U.S. census counts, have until Saturday to submit the nearly 56,000 signatures needed to put it on the November ballot and let voters decide whether the plan stays.
Civil rights activists have long condemned a federal census practice of counting prisoners as correctional-facility residents, even though they can't vote there.
"The Supreme Court's ruling is a huge victory for the national campaign to end prison-based gerrymandering," Brenda Wright
, vice president for legal strategies at the liberal public-policy group Demos, said in a statement. "This decision sets an important precedent that will encourage other states to reform their redistricting laws."