A U.S. Court of Appeals panel Wednesday denied Republicans’ appeal to halt the independent redistricting commission Michigan voters approved in 2018.
Oral arguments in the 6th Circuit were held March 17 and the panel upheld a lower court decision. The Michigan Republican Party, GOP lawmakers and others brought suits claiming the panel was unconstitutional. The 13-member commission of Democrats, Republicans and independents will draw lines for congressional, state House and state Senate districts after the 2020 census. Previously, the Legislature was charged with drawing maps, which then went before the governor.
The group Voters Not Politicians spearheaded a 2018 ballot measure for the independent commission.
“The decision today affirms the fact that, as U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts said, voters ‘have the power to decide for themselves how they want their government to be structured,’” said Nancy Wang, executive director of Voter Not Politicians. “Over 4,000 applications to serve on Michigan’s first Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission have been processed, and we will continue to do all that we can to get as many people involved in our fair, impartial, and transparent redistricting process as possible.”
Th case could be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.