Offbeat Michigan Supreme Court rules that redistricting proposal can appear on ballot

06:25  01 august  2018
06:25  01 august  2018 Source:   thehill.com

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The Michigan Supreme Court on Wednesday will hear oral arguments over a potential ballot proposal to create an independent redistricting commission.

The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday that the ballot question does in fact meet the legal requirements. Mauger explains how the committee challenging the redistricting proposal has received 5,000 from the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

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A measure seeking to establish an independent commission to draw Michigan's congressional districts will be allowed to appear on the ballot in November, the state's Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.

The group Voters Not Politicians gathered nearly 400,000 signatures in an effort to get the proposal on the ballot, and the petition was certified by Michigan's Board of State Canvassers last month.

But opponents of the measure, including Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, argued that it was too broad a proposal to be placed on the ballot and would require the state to hold a new constitutional convention.

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Michigan High Court to hear arguments over redistricting proposal . Lansing — The Michigan Supreme Court on Friday agreed to consider a legal challenge to a potential ballot proposal that would create a citizen committee to redraw political boundaries every 10 years.

The state Supreme Court had the opportunity to block the lower court ’s ruling in June, but declined to do so. As it stands, the measure is currently set to appear on the ballot . “Our legal team is confident that our ballot proposal meets all requirements to go before voters in November.

The court rejected that argument, however, saying that the "proposal would leave the form and structure of the government essentially as it was envisioned in the 1963 Constitution."

If approved by voters in November, the measure would create an independent commission made up of four Democrats, four Republicans and five independents selected by Michigan's secretary of state.

That panel would be responsible for redrawing the state's congressional districts every 10 years. The goal, advocates say, is to end alleged partisan gerrymandering by state lawmakers, who are currently tasked with redistricting.

Under the state's current rules, the party in power in the state legislature gets to decide congressional boundaries.

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The petition to create an independent citizens redistricting commission was approved to appear on the general election ballot Wednesday. The Michigan Supreme Court has yet to decide whether to consider a challenge to the proposal . If the state Supreme Court rules against the ballot initiative

The Michigan Independent Redistricting Commission Initiative is on the ballot in Michigan as an initiated constitutional amendment on November 6, 2018.[5]. Citizens Protecting Michigan 's Constitution appealed the ruling to the Michigan Supreme Court .[9] On July 6, 2018, the state

Republicans in the state legislature who redrew the map in 2011 have said that the boundaries were not drawn with political bias. But emails revealed by The Detroit News recently suggest that some Republicans sought to give their party an advantage in redistricting.

In one of the emails from 2011, Jack Daly, the chief of staff for former Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.), suggested that lines should be redrawn to "cram ALL of the Dem garbage" into four districts.

Currently, nine members of Michigan's congressional delegation are Republicans and four are Democrats, with one seat open. That seat was previously held by former Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), who resigned last year.

Billionaire drops quest to split California into 3 parts .
The billionaire behind a proposal to split California in three says he's giving up on the effort after the state Supreme Court knocked it off the November ballot. The court tossed venture capitalist Tim Draper's initiative in July as part of a legal challenge but didn't rule on the merits of the case. He's not moving forward with the plan after spending more than $1.7 million because he believes California's size and diversity has made it ungovernable."The political environment for radical change is right now," venture capitalist Tim Draper wrote in a letter to the court dated Aug. 2 and made public by his opponents Thursday.

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