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gerrymandering

Michigan's 13th congressional district
Wikipedia

Republican opponents of Michigan’s new independent redistricting commission are back in court.

Last November, voters said “yes” to a measure that created the Michigan Citizens Redistricting Commission to draw Michigan’s political district lines.

It was a long battle to even get on the ballot – ending when the Michigan Supreme Court said the measure had to be put in front of voters.

a map of Michigan's 13th Congressional district
Federal Election Commission

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says she’s looking to the Legislature to provide enough money to ensure the new state redistricting commission can do its job.

The amendment approved by voters last November provides some money, but Benson says she wants money to recruit commission members from all walks of life.

Weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal courts can't intervene in cases where state lawmakers have aggressively drawn political boundaries to benefit one political party over another, a new front in the nation's redistricting battles opens Monday in a North Carolina courtroom.

Voters Not Politicians

In 2018, Michiganders voted to pass Proposal 2, a redistricting amendment that would create an independent commission to draw legislative and congressional district maps. Voters Not Politicians, the nonprofit organization that collected signatures to get the amendment on the ballot, is now taking steps to form that commission.

Prior to Prop 2, whichever party was in control in Lansing was responsible for drawing district maps.

Courtesy of the MI Supreme Court

 

 

Today on Stateside, how two new major US Supreme Court decisions will impact Michigan. Plus, with the anniversary of the Stonewall riots this Friday, we look at the history of the gay rights movement in Michigan.

 

Michigan congressional map
Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons


Supreme Court Rules Partisan Gerrymandering Is Beyond The Reach Of Federal Courts

Jun 27, 2019

Updated 7:45 p.m. ET

In a 5-4 decision along traditional conservative-liberal ideological lines, the Supreme Court ruled that partisan redistricting is a political question — not reviewable by federal courts — and that those courts can't judge if extreme gerrymandering violates the Constitution.

The ruling puts the onus on the legislative branch, and on individual states, to police redistricting efforts.

Michigan congressional map
Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

The Supreme Court is putting on hold court orders in Michigan and Ohio to redraw electoral maps that federal judges found were too partisan.

The high court action comes Friday as it is weighing cases from Maryland and North Carolina that raise similar issues and could affect redistricting everywhere.

congressional map of Michigan
Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Some wild stuff is about to go down in Michigan politics, and it all has to do with maps.

Normally, the maps that mark political districts get redrawn every 10 years.

But now there’s a good chance in Michigan the maps will get redrawn twice just in the next two years.

congressional districts map of Southeast Michigan
Michigan House of Representatives

Michigan’s top elections official says the Legislature should act quickly to draw new maps for legislative and congressional districts.

A federal court struck down Michigan’s district maps as too partisan. The court ruled Michigan’s lines provide an illegal advantage to Republicans in many districts. Republican leaders in the Legislature say they will appeal the ruling.

Tim Ryan
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Democratic presidential candidate Tim Ryan believes gerrymandering could have a big impact on the 2020 election.

The Ohio congressman spoke at a Kent County Democratic Party event in Grand Rapids on Saturday.

Ryan says he believes another two or three congressional seats from each state could swing to the left.

“And if you put that on top of what happened in the last election, we could solidify a long term majority,” Ryan said.

Federal judges recently ruled that Michigan and Ohio’s congressional maps were unconstitutionally gerrymandered to favor Republicans. The judges ordered both states to redraw their maps.

U.S. Supreme Court
Pixabay

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.

three sandhill cranes on a grassy field
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, a federal court rules that Michigan must redraw its congressional and legislative maps before the 2020 election. How does that change both parties’ political calculus? Plus, a Michigan spin on a classic cocktail to warm you up on a drizzly spring weekend.

Michigan's 14th congressional district
Public Domain

The US District Court has ruled that Michigan's congressional and legislative maps are unconstitutionally gerrymandered, ordering the state Legislature to redraw at least 34 districts for the 2020 election.


A detail Michigan congressional district maps drawn in 2011.
Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget

Today on Stateside, a Princeton study makes recommendations for how Michigan's new citizen commission should redraw the state's political maps for the 2022 election. Plus, a look at why Michigan State University is refusing to hand over 6,000 internal documents to special investigators. 

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

A vintage photograph of Byron B. Buckhout's home, located at 534 N. Washington Ave., during the winter of 1879.
Courtesy of Public Libraries of Saginaw

Today on Stateside, we hear thoughts from both sides of the aisle about the State of Union address last night, and President Trump's contention that: "If there's going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation." Plus, we transport back to 1860s Saginaw, Michigan to learn about the first African-American owned photography studio in the state. 

congressional districts map of Southeast Michigan
Michigan House of Representatives

Was the last re-drawing of Michigan’s political district maps so biased in Republicans’ favor, they were illegal?

Reviver Auto / YouTube

Today on Stateside, we hear from the president of the State Board of Education following an MSU report’s findings that Michigan leads the country in declining school funds. Plus, we talk with the CEO leading the charge on digital license plates in Michigan.

A detail Michigan congressional district maps drawn in 2011.
Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget

Today on Stateside, how recent developments in a federal gerrymandering lawsuit could shift some Michigan congressional and state legislative districts ahead of the 2020 election. Plus, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we hear from Michigan State University Dean Emeritus Robert Green about his experiences working alongside Dr. King during the Civil Rights Movement. 

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

Marijuana plant
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The midterm election might not be the final word on the ballot initiatives that were passed.

Republicans in the state Legislature are trying to reshape some of the measures.

While not a direct change to the redistricting measure, one bill would add restrictions and definitions to the initiative. For example, it would prohibit anyone who is a member of a political party from providing any service to the commission.

Katie Fahey is the leader of the group behind the ballot measure. She says the timing of these bills is a problem.

Judge's gavel with books
Pixabay.com

A federal lawsuit accusing the state of Michigan of unfair gerrymandering can go to trial.

The judges on the U.S. District Court panel said the League of Women Voters and several Democrats in the lawsuit have a case.

The lawsuit is against the Republican Secretary of State’s office – that’s the office in charge of overseeing Michigan’s elections. It accuses the state of allowing gerrymandered political districts that unfairly help Republicans.

 

Today on Stateside, two consultants on opposite sides of the political spectrum recapped Wednesday night's gubernatorial debate. Plus, our “Work in Progress” series features a conversation between two Catholic priests, one just beginning his career, and the other recently retired. 

Schuette and Whitmer trade barbs one last time in final debate before Election Day 

 

GovTrack

As we move towards the midterm elections on November 6, Stateside has been having conversations with statewide candidates. Today, we speak to two of the candidates runnning in Michigan's 7th Congressional District, Republican incumbent Tim Walberg, and his Democratic opponent Gretchen Driskell

Michigan's 14th congressional district
Public Domain

Update, November 7, 2018:

Michiganders passed Proposal 2 on November 6, drastically changing the way districts are drawn in the state. Read our article about what the proposal will do below.

jim abbott pitching
Wikimedia Commons / http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Today on Stateside, the director of a conservative advocacy group talks about why he opposes Proposal 2, the anti-gerrymandering ballot initiative. Plus, Flint native Jim Abbott was born without a right hand, but he still made it to the major league. We talk to the director of a new documentary about the baseball legend.

Voters Not Politicians

A group promoting a ballot initiative to redraw Michigan's voting districts got an unexpected boost with a $250,000 contribute from a national group. The funds came from the National Redistricting Action Fund, an affiliate of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, which is headed by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. 

Voters Not Politicians

The Board of State Canvassers has until September 7th to finalize ballot language for an anti-gerrymandering ballot proposal -- but on Tuesday, the group Voters Not Politicians filed a lawsuit demanding they approve language sooner.

woman signing petition
Courtesy of Voters Not Politicians

The legal challenges are over for an anti-gerrymandering ballot proposal. In a 4 to 3 vote, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the question is cleared to appear on November’s ballot.

michigan hall of justice building
Wikimedia Commons

An initiative to change how Michigan draws its political boundaries is headed for the November ballot.

In a 4-3 ruling late Tuesday night, the Michigan Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit challenging a redistricting ballot proposal.

Michigan State Capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

 


Emails have emerged in a federal lawsuit which suggest Michigan Republicans gerrymandered congressional districts despite years of claims the lines were drawn without political bias.

Journalists Joel Kurth and Lindsay VanHulle broke the story for Bridge Magazine. 

One email from a GOP staffer, according to the article, bragged about cramming “Dem garbage” into four southeast Michigan Congressional districts. In another, a longtime Michigan Chamber of Commerce executive predicts the maps will keep Republicans in power for years.

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