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Federal judge dismisses challenge to redistricting commission

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A federal judge has dismissed a legal challenge to Michigan’s voter-approved commission to draw new district lines for legislative and congressional seats.

Elizabeth Battiste is with the Voters Not Politicians campaign. She says lawsuits to block the commission have failed at every level so far. And that means recruiting people to sit on the commission will continue.

“Well, there is the potential to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, but we’re confident the amendment will stand, and we’re focused on recruiting more folks to participate in the transparent redistricting process.”

The commission will draw the new district lines once the results of the 2020 U.S. Census are finalized.

That used to be the responsibility of the Legislature, and district maps were typically approved on party-line votes.

The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to take the case last April, clearing the way for Monday’s orders from U.S. District Court Judge Janet Neff.

“Court after court has held that citizen redistricting commissions are legal, and we are happy that the will of the people was upheld in this instance,” says Battiste.

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Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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