A three-judge panel has ordered Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. and House Speaker Michael E. Busch to give depositions and turn over documents in a federal lawsuit challenging the 2011 redrawing of the state's congressional districts.
The ruling affirmed an earlier order by U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar, which had been appealed by the Maryland Attorney General's Office citing "legislative privilege."
"Because of the importance of the federal interests at stake and because the evidence of these conversations may be crucial to their vindication, we ... therefore hold in this case that legislative privilege does not protect conversations and other communications between legislators," wrote Fourth Circuit Judge Paul V. Niemeyer.
The order also calls on three legislators — Del. Curt Anderson and Sens. C. Anthony Museand Richard Madaleno — to cooperate with the lawsuit.