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Thu June 30, 2011
State lawmakers finish work on redistricting... Now what?
The Republican-led state Senate approved a Congressional redistricting map yesterday… that means it now goes to Governor Snyder for his signature. The bill passed 25-13, mostly along party lines. But, that might not be the end of the story. Reports this morning seem to indicate that the maps could be challenged in court.
From the Detroit News:
The state Legislature on Wednesday sent new political district maps to the governor for signing, but the final configuration of congressional and state legislative boundaries could still end up being decided in court… Democrats claimed throughout the review process that wildly irregular districts — especially in Metro Detroit — were engineered to protect Republican incumbents.
Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer refused to comment on whether the party would file a lawsuit charging one or more of the maps don't meet the requirements of state and federal laws to protect voter rights.
"We'll be consulting with the congressional delegation about our next steps," he said. "That's all I can say right now.”
The article continues:
Court challenges are nearly a given, according to Ari Adler, spokesman for House Speaker Jase Bolger, R-Marshall.
"We wouldn't be surprised (by a court challenge) because that tends to be what happens — whichever party is in charge, the other disagrees with the maps," Adler said. "That's why when we looked at our maps we addressed them so they would pass muster with the federal government and with any court."
Common Cause of Michigan will consider filing a court challenge, Executive Director Christina Kuo said late Wednesday.
And, the Detroit Free Press notes, "...legal challenges to the new districts, which dropped from 15 to 14 because of population losses in the state, are likely from any number of sources including the Michigan Democratic Party, Congressional Black Caucus and Michigan Legislative Black Caucus."