How Ohio and Alabama’s redistricting rulings could affect new maps in Michigan

Ohio and Alabama both saw their maps tossed out in court. In the first case, it was excessive gerrymandering that made the maps illegal. In the latter, it was the way those district lines diluted Black voting power.

Michigan’s new political maps are historic. They’re the first maps drawn by a citizen’s redistricting commission, not politicians. But that historic significance won’t necessarily guarantee that they’ll hold up in court.

There are now at least three major legal challenges, including one to be filed next week, to the maps that could result in judges throwing them out. And that’s exactly what has happened in other states recently. Ohio and Alabama both saw their maps tossed out in court. In the first case, it was excessive gerrymandering that made the maps illegal. In the latter, it was the way those district lines diluted Black voting power.

While neither Ohio nor Alabama have independent redistricting commissions, it still raises the question: Could these rulings have implications for Michigan’s redistricting maps, which have also been criticized for how they treat minority voters?

What we’re seeing on Michigan’s commission is really a clash of personalities.” — Clara Hendrickson, reporter with the Detroit Free Press and PolitiFact Michigan


Listen: Michigan’s redistricting commission faces growing pressure.

 


Guest

Clara Hendrickson is a reporter with the Detroit Free Press and PolitiFact Michigan. She says Michigan’s redistricting commission has been under more pressure, and has been mired in more vehement arguments, since the recent legal challenges were made. “What we’re seeing on Michigan’s commission is really a clash of personalities,” says Hendrickson.

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