Michigan Republicans sue over newly drawn congressional districts

Jan 21, 2022 at 3:54 pm
click to enlarge U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. - Shutterstock
U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

Seven Michigan Republicans have filed a lawsuit against the state’s redistricting commission, arguing that the recently approved congressional maps are “non-neutral,” “arbitrary,” and disregard community boundaries.

The suit asks a judge to order the commission to redraw the congressional districts so that fewer counties are broken up by district boundaries.

It’s the second lawsuit challenging the new districts. A dozen Black lawmakers and leaders from metro Detroit sued the commission last month, saying the maps are racially discriminatory and violate the Voting Rights Act.

According to the Republicans’ lawsuit, the 13 congressional district broke up 15 of Michigan’s 83 counties, including Oakland, which was split up into six separate congressional districts.

“This is evidence that the commissioners did not apply its criteria in a neutral and consistent manner but rather in an inconsistent and arbitrary manner,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit argues that the maps violate the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause and the U.S. Constitution’s “one person, one vote” principle. Republicans also claim the maps violate the 2018 constitutional amendment that created the redistricting commission.

The impetus for that constitutional amendment was decades of gerrymandering that gave Republicans a political advantage.

Some of the Republicans who filed the lawsuit are state Rep. Beau LaFave, of Iron Mountain; former state Rep. Joe Graves, of Linden; former congressional district candidate Harry Sawicki; and Mike Banerian and Cameron Pickford of the conservative Michigan Freedom Fund.

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