May 28, 2021
LANSING - The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion upholding the constitutionality of Michigan's Independent Citizen's Redistricting Commission (ICRC), Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced today.
The decision affirms the United States District Court for the Western District's earlier dismissal of the legal challenges to the ICRC, including that the eligibility requirements infringed on the individual plaintiffs' First Amendment rights of speech and association.
"We rejected similar - if not identical - arguments to those that Plaintiffs raise here when we affirmed the district court's earlier denial of Plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction in Daunt v. Benson. Plaintiffs' arguments are no more persuasive this time around," Judge Karen Nelson Moore wrote in her opinion.
"This decision reaffirms what we have said all along - the people's decision in 2018 to entrust ordinary citizens, and not politicians and political operatives, with the important task of drawing the district lines within which our leaders are elected, is constitutional," Nessel said.
It is not yet known whether the plaintiffs will appeal this decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. In the meantime, this decision paves the way for the ICRC to continue its important work redrawing Michigan's electoral districts.
"This is a victory for democracy and another nail in the coffin for gerrymandering in Michigan," Benson said. "Right now the 13 randomly selected commissioners are holding public meetings to learn from residents across the state how they can empower every voter by drawing competitive election districts."
To learn more about the work of the Commission, find a public meeting in your area, or submit feedback to commissioners online, please visit www.michigan.gov/micrc.