- Associated Press - Monday, June 8, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court 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 “obviously 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.

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