LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Supreme Court ruled against the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission's request for more time to draw new state, Congressional, and House maps.
The maps must be drawn in a fair way and account for things like geography, population size, and groups of people who share the same concerns also called communities of interest.
The commission is facing a tight deadline to draw the new maps which will be used for future elections. The Constitutional deadline for redistricting is November 1 but Census data, which is crucial to drawing new maps won't be available until late September.
The Census Bureau cited challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic, hurricanes, and wildfires in the West as reasons for the delay.
"The petitioners sought this relief due to the six-month Census delay," said MICRC General Counsel Julianne Pastula. "The commission will not be receiving the Census data necessary to do its work a full six months later than anticipated. So we are definitely under a time crunch."
The Michigan Supreme Court announced its decision Friday saying it was "not persuaded that it should grant the requested relief."
The way a district is drawn plays a large role in who gets elected and who doesn't. In the past, whichever political party held a majority in the state legislature was in charge of redrawing the district lines every 10 years, a practice that led to less competitive elections.
The commission was created by the state's voters in 2018 to prevent that process from continuing.
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