FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 25, 2019
Contact: David Waymire
GRAND RAPIDS – Today, U.S. District Court Judge Janet Neff denied plaintiffs’ motions for preliminary injunction in two lawsuits brought by the Michigan Republican Party and special interests to undermine Michigan’s voter-initiated Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission.
“Michigan voters amended our state Constitution to establish an Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission and bring fair maps to Michigan. The application process to serve on the Commission opened on October 24, and thousands of Michiganders have already applied,” said Nancy Wang, Executive Director of Voters Not Politicians.
Paul Smith, Vice President of the Campaign Legal Center stated, “We are proud to be protecting Michigan’s voter-approved Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission alongside Voters Not Politicians. The court was right to reject the attempt by the plaintiffs to use the courts to thwart the will of the people.”
The lawsuits, which were consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, were brought by a group of Republican activists led by Tony Daunt, who was the face of the losing opposition campaign last year, and the Michigan Republican Party, which a U.S. District Court found, gerrymandered the state’s district maps to historical proportions during the most recent redistricting cycle to give themselves “a strong, systematic, and durable structural advantage in Michigan’s elections.”
Plaintiffs’ requests for preliminary injunctions were based on claims that the amendment passed by the voters violated the federal Constitution and that Plaintiffs would suffer irreparable harm if the Court did not immediately halt the Secretary of State’s implementation of the amendment. The Court rejected these arguments, finding that “Plaintiffs are unlikely to prevail on the merits of their constitutional claims” and that they would not suffer any irreparable injuries from the state’s continued efforts to implement the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission.
Applications to serve on Michigan’s first Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission will be open through June 1, 2020. Last week, the Secretary of State’s office announced that 250,000 randomly selected Michigan registered voters will receive applications in their mailboxes in early January 2020.
Voters Not Politicians is a grassroots, nonpartisan advocacy organization dedicated to supporting the successful implementation of the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission overwhelmingly supported by Michigan voters and to strengthening democracy by engaging people across Michigan in effective citizen action. Learn more at www.votersnotpoliticians.com.