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Michigan Republicans appeal gerrymandering ruling to U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court

Last week, a federal court ruled that Michigan's Republican lawmakers had unconstitutionally drawn district lines. Now, those lawmakers have appealed that ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In its decision, the U.S. District Court said Republicans had violated the First and Fourth Amendments by unconstitutionally drawing district lines to favor their party. The Court ordered the Legislature and governor to work together to redraw at least 34 districts for the 2020 election.

Read more: Panel rules Michigan's congressional districts are unconstitutionally gerrymandered

Republicans object to that decision, and filed a notice of an appeal to the Supreme Court Wednesday. Legal arguments will be filed seperately. It's expected that Republicans will also ask for a stay on the lower court's ruling.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) says he’s not putting together committees or a plan to carry out the order just yet. 

“We will proceed to follow the ruling that the District Court issued last week," he said. "That’s going to take us weeks to put together and we’ll wait to see what happens with the Supreme Court.”

Similar redistricting cases involving Maryland and North Carolina have already been argued in the Court, and decisions are expected soon.

The decision, whatever it may be, will not affect how districts are drawn beyond the 2020 election, since Michigan passed the Voters Not Politicians ballot proposal in November. That proposal takes the power of redistricting away from the political parties in Lansing, and instead an independent citizen panel will oversee the process.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
Emma is a communications specialist with the digital team at Michigan Radio. She works across all departments at Michigan Radio, with a hand in everything from digital marketing and fundraising to graphic design and website maintenance. She also produces the station's daily newsletter, The Michigan Radio Beat.
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