Proceedings on a federal case challenging how Michigan’s legislative districts are drawn are slated to begin on Tuesday morning in Detroit after Republicans’ last-ditch appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was rejected.
GOP attorneys had argued that the case would be rendered irrelevant because the High Court is set to rule on similar redistricting cases in Maryland and North Carolina.
The U.S. Supreme Court, through Justice Sonia Sotomayor, on Monday denied the request of GOP plaintiffs to halt the hearing, the Detroit News reported.The suit alleges that Republicans gerrymandered districts in the 2011 redistricting process by the GOP-controlled Legislature and signed by then-Gov. Rick Snyder.
As the Advance has extensively reported, there has been an abundance of motions in the last few weeks in the case of League of Women Voters et. al. v. Jocelyn Benson. Benson, a Democrat, became party to the lawsuit when she took office as secretary of state on Jan. 1.
Benson tried to reach a settlement with plaintiffs in which 11 state House districts would have been redrawn in time for the 2020 election. The next full redistricting process comes after the 2020 census and will be done by a nonpartisan commission as established under Proposal 2 of 2018.
A three-judge panel in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on Friday night denied a motion by Benson to settle the lawsuit.
The judges said that Benson lacks the authority to enter into the settlement without the support of the GOP-controlled Legislature. Several Republican legislators have intervened in the case, including state House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering).