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Gerrymandering ruling will affect Michigan

Posted at 9:00 PM, Jun 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-28 13:46:56-04

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan is not going to have to redraw its legislative and congressional maps for next year's elections. A district court judge ordered the state to use new maps for the 2020 election, but it appears that's off the table now.

The Supreme Court said that federal courts should stay out of political disputes when it released its decision today. Nancy Wang, Executive Director of Voters Not Politicians, on the other hand, says it's about more than that.

In 2018 Voters Not Politicians got a win, sponsoring a permanent solution to end partisan redistricting in Michigan.

“We sponsored a ballot initiative to write into our state constitution independent citizens redistricting commission and that commission is forming," Wang said.

The creation of that commission means Thursday's Supreme Court ruling ultimately won't have a long-term impact in Michigan.

But it does end a lawsuit over Michigan's current state Legislature and Congressional districts - which will be used for next year's elections. Wang is disappointed by that.

"The lower courts here already decided that Michigan voters have already suffered through four election cycles with rigged maps and that we shouldn't have to suffer through another one and unfortunately after today it looks like we're going to have to," she said.

The lower court ordered the Legislature to redraw the maps for the 2020 elections. Now they'll stay the same until the independent commission takes over the redistricting process after next year's census. Wang says because some states don't have the same ballot initiative process as Michigan, they need to rely on the courts to protect voting rights and she says those voters have been let down.

"It really is the court's role to protect the voters and they failed to do that today," Wang said.

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