The U.S. Court of Appeals rejected the state’s U.S. House and state legislative districts in a decision Thursday, 4/25/19, and ordered new lines to be drawn for 2020 and a special Senate election for 2020, despite the state Senate not being scheduled for another election until 2022.
According to the three-judge panel, Michigan’s last plan for redistricting provides Republicans an unfair advantage. In the court ruling, the maps’ “partisan bias has proven severe and durable; it has strongly advantaged Republicans and disadvantaged Democrats for eight years and across four separate election cycles,” the judges said. The ruling continued, stating that it “represents a political gerrymander of historical proportions.”
The ruling impacts 15 of the state’s 110 House districts, 10 of the state’s 38 Senate districts and nine of the state’s 14 congressional districts.
Complicating matters due to Michigan’s term limits is that it is still unclear if a special election coming out of the 4/25/19 ruling would count against incumbents already in their second term. Additionally, the U.S. Supreme Court is deliberating cases on gerrymandering in Maryland and North Carolina, so Michigan Republicans may request a stay on the federal court ruling until the Supreme Court’s decision is rendered — a decision expected later this summer.
“This decision could have significant implications for Michigan,” said Mike Johnston MMA vice president of government affairs. “It could result in the loss of pro-manufacturing majorities in both the House and Senate. In addition, second-term sitting Senators could be barred from running in the special election due to term limits and resulting in the loss of some strong manufacturing supporters.”
The issue is not final as further court actions will impact the situation. We will be monitoring the issue closely. For details, contact MMA’s Brianna Mills, at 517-487-8523 or firstname.lastname@example.org.