Every 10 years, Michigan legislators re-draw our congressional and legislative districts. Once the census numbers are released, the political party in power at the time controls the process, and that's when things can get ugly.
A U.S. Supreme Court out of Texas could change the way redistricting is handled in Michigan and every other state.
Eric Lupher, the president of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, joined Stateside to explain how the case of Evenwel v. Abbott could have a significant impact on future elections.
The districts have always been determined based on total population of each state. The Texas lawsuit is seeking to change the system – so that instead of representation being based on total population, it would be based on the number of eligible voters. This affects states like Texas that have large immigrant populations, both legal and illegal. The goal is to only count what's known as the Citizen Voting Age Population. This includes U.S. Citizens who are of voting age and are not felons.
How would this affect the state of Michigan?
“Most of the districts that would be affected are in our urban areas, in Detroit, in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing,” said Lupher. “It’s not as simple as just affecting those districts because everything is going to have to get changed to make up for those to either allow them to expand or allow them to contract and have something fill that void.”
According to Lupher, many of the state's urban areas tend to vote Democratic, so the ripple effect from the Texas case could be significant here in Michigan.
Listen to the full interview below to hear more about the case and the potential outcomes with the eight-member Supreme Court.