Democratic and Republican lawmakers have closed ranks, salvaging a bipartisan coalition to challenge the state's new congressional districts before the U.S. Supreme Court.
A subcommittee of the county's Democrat-controlled General Assembly delegation asked Annapolis lawyer John Greiber Monday to appeal a lower court's decision upholding the new districts.
"We've promised to back him with all the moral and financial support within our wherewithal," said Del. Victor Sulin, D-Severn.
Del. John Gary, R-Millersville, said: "There was no question the Republicans were willing to do it. But it has more impact if the Democrats stick with us. That is very important."
The county's Republican andDemocratic parties, as well as five residents, filed suit in U.S. District Court after the legislature eliminated the Anne Arundel seat held by Rep. Tom McMillen, D-4th, and divvied the county up among fournew congressional districts.
After a panel of judges upheld the new districts, 2-1, last month, the bipartisan coalition appeared to be disintegrating. The Republicans appeared eager to appeal, but Democratic leaders said they were concerned about the cost of a Supreme Court challenge after receiving a $79,000 bill from Greiber.
However, Greiber, who volunteered to press the case last fall, said the billis necessary to recover legal expenses from the state if they win. He has said he will accept whatever the coalition, acting in good faith, can raise. So far, the coalition has paid him less than $18,000.
The county's Democratic and Republican state central committees will be asked to spearhead fund-raising efforts to finance the appeal.