It’s official: No gerrymandering reform in Michigan until 2022

    Anti-gerrymandering protest, October 3, 2017 in Washington, DC. | Olivier Douliery, Getty Images

    The U.S. Supreme Court decided earlier this year that it won’t weigh in on cases of political gerrymandering and it’s now officially tossed Michigan’s case back to a lower court. 

    In a one-sentence order on Monday, the Court effectively overturned a lower court ruling that 34 congressional and state legislative districts had been gerrymandered to favor Republicans. 

    Michigan gerrymandering challenge dies with U.S. Supreme Court ruling

    Similarly, the Court tossed out an Ohio case earlier this month. 

    The expected formality in the case of Lee Chatfield et al. v. League of Women Voters et al. comes after the nation’s highest court in a 5-4 decision ruled in June that partisan gerrymandering is purely a states issue. Chief Justice John Roberts, in the opinion, wrote that the lawsuits “present political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts.”

    A three-judge panel in the Detroit court previously ruled in April that 34 congressional and state legislative districts had been gerrymandered and had to be withdrawn. 

    In 2018, Michigan voters approved a constitutional amendment, Proposal 2, which establishes an independent redistricting panel. However, that won’t impact elections until 2022.

    Nick Manes
    Nick Manes is a former Michigan Advance reporter, covering West Michigan, business and labor, health care and the safety net. He previously spent six years as a reporter at MiBiz covering commercial real estate, economic development and all manner of public policy at the local and state levels.


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