GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Today, Campaign Legal Center (CLC), on behalf of Voters Not Politicians (VNP), took steps to intervene as defendants in a lawsuit that challenges and seeks to overturn the Michigan congressional maps recently adopted by Michigan’s Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission to ensure that the court faithfully interprets the redistricting standards enacted by the voters of Michigan.
Created by a citizen-led ballot initiative passed in 2018, the commission adopted and enacted a new plan for Michigan’s 13 Congressional districts in late December 2021. A group of Michigan voters has since filed a lawsuit challenging the map. As the principal sponsor of that ballot initiative, VNP seeks to intervene to defend the procedures used by the nonpartisan commission and ensure that efforts to undermine its authority or undo the purpose of the amendment are curbed.
“Elections should be determined by voters, not politicians. Independent redistricting commissions, like the one passed by Michigan voters in 2018, are designed to ensure that our political system remains by, of and for the people,” said Paul Smith, senior vice president at Campaign Legal Center. “This commission was passed with 61% of the vote, gaining support from both red and blue counties statewide. The court should reject this effort to prevent the commission from accomplishing the purpose for which it was overwhelmingly approved by the voters.”
“Voters Not Politicians’ goal is to defend the Commission’s use of the constitutional redistricting criteria in the order in which they are presented in the amendment,” said Nancy Wang, executive director of Voters Not Politicians. “We seek to intervene to ensure that the voice of Michigan’s voters are clearly heard in this case.”
Independent redistricting commissions take the power of redistricting out of the hands of partisan legislators, who have proven that they will use the process to gain power when given the opportunity to do so. These commissions give the power to the citizens to choose their representatives and create a more fair and transparent process for redrawing districts. Michiganders’ choice to do so should be respected.