“Republicans sue to block Michigan redistricting commission”

Detroit News:

Republicans are suing to stop Michigan’s new citizen redistricting commission before it begins, alleging the voter-approved amendment is “blatantly unconstitutional” and discriminates against participants based on political service or family ties.

The federal lawsuit, filed Tuesday morning with the U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids, seeks to invalidate Proposal 2, block implementation and prevent the independent commission from drawing new legislative and congressional district maps for the 2022 election cycle.

Instead, whichever political party wins control of the state Legislature next year would lead that process in 2021. Republicans drew existing lines in 2011 and currently hold majorities in the Michigan House and Senate.

The legal action is backed by the Fair Lines America Foundation, a non-profit with ties to the National Republican Redistricting Trust. It was filed on behalf of 15 Michigan residents who would be excluded from serving on the commission under the new rules.

I’m surprised to see this relatively weak claim based upon the patronage cases (which don’t apply to people in policymaking positions) and not the argument (as to congressional elections) based on the state legislature’s power to draw district lines.

UPDATE: You can find the complaint at this link. I find it puzzling that this pretty weak argument is the basis for this lawsuit.


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