Group continues work on community mapping, engaging Communities of Interest
LANSING, Mich.–The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit today upheld for the second time the constitutional amendment adopted by voters in 2018, that established Michigan’s Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. The amendment put voters – not politicians – in charge of drawing Michigan’s state Legislative and U.S. Congressional election maps through a fair, impartial, and transparent process with robust public input, ending the previous practice of politicians drawing lines behind closed doors to maximize their partisan advantage.
“Michigan’s Constitution begins with, ‘All political power is inherent in the people,’ and today’s decision is grounded in that core principle,” said Nancy Wang, executive director of Voters Not Politicians, the grassroots, nonpartisan group that ended gerrymandering in Michigan. “We started this movement with 33 town halls in 33 days, and a committee of everyday citizens drafted a constitutional amendment that was of, for, and by the people.”
“Thousands of volunteers collected more than 425,000 signatures in just 110 days, and millions voted on November 6, 2018, to end partisan gerrymandering in Michigan,” Wang continued. “The will of the people has been upheld. The Commission is hard at work, and the fair, impartial, and transparent redistricting process the voters approved will continue.”
The federal court’s decision to dismiss the lawsuit by Tony Daunt of the Michigan Freedom Fund was another legal victory for Independent Citizens Redistricting Commissions, which were cited as an example by the U.S. Supreme Court of how states can address partisan gerrymandering.
“It is time for fair maps in Michigan,” said Paul Smith, vice president of Campaign Legal Center (CLC), attorney of record in the case. “Today’s decision reaffirms the right of Michiganders to ensure that elections are decided by voters, not politicians. This victory will allow the commission to proceed, allowing the voters’ will to be heard.”
Voters Not Politicians is being represented in the case by the nonprofit Campaign Legal Center (CLC) and the Fraser Trebilcock law firm.
Click here to read the full decision.
Voters Not Politicians is a nonpartisan advocacy organization that works to strengthen democracy by engaging people across Michigan in effective citizen action. Learn more at www.votersnotpoliticians.com.