Federal Court Sides With Michigan Democrats In Gerrymandering Lawsuit

Apr 26, 2019

Credit Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

A federal judge says Michigan has to hold a special election in 2020 for certain state Senate districts.  And the Legislature and governor have to come up with new political lines for the US House, state Senate, and state House districts by August.

A federal panel of judges says the district lines were originally drawn in favor of Republicans.

The court opinion says, “This court joins the growing chorus of federal courts that have, in recent years, held that partisan gerrymandering is unconstitutional.”

The League of Women Voters of Michigan sued the state.  They said Republicans had drawn political district lines to disadvantage Democrats.  The court agreed.  It said 27 of 34 challenged districts diluted the weight of people’s votes.  And that every challenged district is unconstitutional.

The court says the Legislature has to come up with new lines for those districts.  And if the Republican-led Legislature and Democratic governor can’t come to a fair consensus – then the court will draw new maps itself.

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—Cheyna Roth is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org