The United States District Court struck down a redistricting map adopted by the Baltimore County Council as a violation of the Voting Rights Act. Although the County’s population is now almost one-third Black and almost half people of color, the county council packed a lone council district with Black voters and left white voters in control of the other six districts. Brown, Goldstein & Levy partner Andy Freeman, along with a team of attorneys from the Maryland ACLU and Arnold & Porter, represented civil rights organizations, county residents, and a Maryland state senator in challenging the County’s plan. Judge Lydia Griggsby found that the County’s map would illegally dilute Black voters’ ability to elect candidates of their choice and that they would be irreparably harmed if that map were allowed to govern this year’s county council election, for which the primary is on June 28th. This victory was covered by several news outlets including Maryland Matters, the Baltimore Sun, the Maryland Daily Record, and WYPR-NPR News.
As highlighted in the Maryland Matters article, Andy presented evidence on behalf of the civil rights groups of the county’s “strong pattern of racially polarized voting” and history of discrimination in successfully arguing that the county’s map should be enjoined. Baltimore County now has until March 8th to adopt a new map to ensure Black County residents have a meaningful opportunity to elect candidates of their choice.
In an interview with WYPR-NPR, Andy summarize the court’s ruling, stating, “The really strong message that Judge Griggsby sent is that this is not your father’s Baltimore County. Baltimore County is now one-third Black and almost half people of color, and the council representation needs to reflect that.”
Plaintiffs included Baltimore County NAACP branch and its president, Danita Tolson; the League of Women Voters of Baltimore County; Common Cause Maryland; state Senator Charles Sydnor III; former county NAACP president Anthony Fugett; and Dana Vickers Shelley, executive director of the ACLU of Maryland and a Pikesville resident.
Andy is well-known for obtaining justice for his clients. His many successes include securing numerous million- and multi-million-dollar verdicts, judgments, and settlements by mastering the relevant law and getting to know his clients and their problems. Andy is frequently sought out by clients and other lawyers for cases that require complicated combinations of law and facts or present novel legal issues.