The Supreme Court of the United States will decide whether it was proper for a single federal judge to throw out a lawsuit challenging Maryland’s 2011 congressional redistricting plan.
The justices on Monday agreed to hear an appeal from a group of Maryland residents who say their First Amendment challenge should have been reviewed by a three-judge panel.
Federal law requires a special panel of three judges to hear constitutional redistricting cases unless a single judge who initially considers the case decides it is frivolous or without merit.
After the residents filed their lawsuit, a District Court judge decided it didn’t belong before a full panel because it was based on theories the court had previously rejected.
The Maryland residents say any ruling that considers the merits must be heard by three judges.