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Appeals court reaffirms constitutionality of Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission

Redistricting commission applications with Michigan capitol.JPG
Posted at 3:25 PM, May 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-28 15:25:57-04

LANSING, Mich. — The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion Friday upholding the constitutionality of Michigan’s Independent Citizen’s Redistricting Commission, affirming earlier dismissals of legal challenges to the commission.

That includes a dismissal of an argument that the eligibility requirements infringed on the individual plaintiff’s First Amendment rights of speech and association, according to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office.

“This decision reaffirms what we have said all along – the people’s decision in 2018 to entrust ordinary citizens, and not politicians and political operatives, with the important task of drawing the district lines within which our leaders are elected, is constitutional,” Nessel said.

It’s not yet clear if this decision will be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“This is a victory for democracy and another nail in the coffin for gerrymandering in Michigan,” Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said. “Right now, the 13 randomly selected commissioners are holding public meetings to learn from residents across the state how they can empower every voter by drawing competitive election districts.”

Read the court’s full opinion here.

READ MORE: Michigan redistricting commission holds public comment session in Lansing