Secretary of State
JANUARY 17, 2019
In response to an existing motion to stay the trial in the pending litigation between the League of Women Voters (the Plaintiffs) and the State of Michigan, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson today filed a brief in concurrence to stay the trial currently scheduled for Feb. 5, 2019, so that she may reach a consent agreement with the Plaintiffs.
The full brief states in part, “The Secretary of State agrees that an adjournment of the trial date is appropriate for the circumstances of this case. An adjournment will permit the Secretary of State and Plaintiffs the opportunity to focus their efforts on negotiating a mutually agreeable and complete resolution of their disputes that: serves the public interest of the State of Michigan; conserves public and judicial resources; mitigates the impact of any past impermissible partisan gerrymandering; and obviates the need for further proceedings in this case, including trial.”
Benson said, “It is clear the court has found significant evidence of partisan gerrymandering, and the likely outcome would not be favorable to the state. It is therefore my responsibility to ensure a fair and equitable resolution for the citizens of Michigan that would save taxpayer money and ensure fair representation.”
Benson noted any potential consent agreement with the plaintiff would only impact the 2020 election. She said the long-term solution is the one put in place by the voters of our state for a nonpartisan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (ICRC). The ICRC will be convened in 2020 to redraw all state legislative and federal congressional districts in Michigan following the 2020 census and will be in place by the 2022 election.
“As a longtime advocate of citizen involvement in redistricting as a solution to end gerrymandering, I look forward to implementing an ICRC in a way that is transparent, nonpartisan and effectively engages citizens across the state in the important task of drawing legislative districts that comply with state and federal law.” Benson said.
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