Michigan Republicans appeal gerrymandering ruling to U.S. Supreme Court | Michigan Radio
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Michigan Republicans appeal gerrymandering ruling to U.S. Supreme Court

May 1, 2019

U.S. Supreme Court
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Last week, a federal court ruled that Michigan's Republican lawmakers had unconstitutionally drawn district lines. Now, those lawmakers have appealed that ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In its decision, the U.S. District Court said Republicans had violated the First and Fourth Amendments by unconstitutionally drawing district lines to favor their party. The Court ordered the Legislature and governor to work together to redraw at least 34 districts for the 2020 election.

Read more: Panel rules Michigan's congressional districts are unconstitutionally gerrymandered

Republicans object to that decision, and filed a notice of an appeal to the Supreme Court Wednesday. Legal arguments will be filed seperately. It's expected that Republicans will also ask for a stay on the lower court's ruling.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) says he’s not putting together committees or a plan to carry out the order just yet. 

“We will proceed to follow the ruling that the District Court issued last week," he said. "That’s going to take us weeks to put together and we’ll wait to see what happens with the Supreme Court.”

Similar redistricting cases involving Maryland and North Carolina have already been argued in the Court, and decisions are expected soon.

The decision, whatever it may be, will not affect how districts are drawn beyond the 2020 election, since Michigan passed the Voters Not Politicians ballot proposal in November. That proposal takes the power of redistricting away from the political parties in Lansing, and instead an independent citizen panel will oversee the process.