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Michigan’s new redistricting commission sued in anticipation of missing deadlines

Michigan congressional districts 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 are just some of the political districts that have been ordered to be redrawn by August 1st.
Public Domain
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Wikimedia Commons
Michigan congressional districts 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 are just some of the political districts that have been ordered to be redrawn by August 1st.
michigan_congressional_districts__113th_congress1.tif_.png
Credit Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
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Wikimedia Commons

The citizen-led commission in charge of drawing new political maps in Michigan is being sued because it’s unlikely to meet deadlines.

Serial litigant Robert Davis filed the lawsuit this week, asking Michigan’s Supreme Court to make the commission abide by deadlines outlined in the state Constitution.

Michigan’s Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission was supposed to come up with drafts of congressional and statewide legislative maps by September 17. 

Earlier this year, the commission petitioned the state’s top court to extend its timeline due to delayed census data. But the judges declined to take a stand before a lawsuit was filed.

John Chamberlin is a professor emeritus of political science at the University of Michigan. He says it’s reasonable for the commission to take more time.

“It would have been as a sort of Herculean task to do all the work that they have to do when they didn't get the data until just recently. … There are a couple of zillion ways you could draw districts.”

Michiganders voted in 2018 to create the new process for drawing districts. Under the new process, Democratic, Republican and unaffiliated citizens meet in public to draw maps.

Copyright 2021 Michigan Radio

Sarah Lehr is a politics and civics reporter for WKAR News.