•   
  •   
  •   

Politics The strange attack on Michigan's redistricting commission

00:30  21 july  2021
00:30  21 july  2021 Source:   thehill.com

Rudy Giuliani insisted that Trump declare victory in Michigan before the state was called, a new book says

  Rudy Giuliani insisted that Trump declare victory in Michigan before the state was called, a new book says In the 2020 election, Biden went on to carry Michigan by a 51%-48% margin, buoyed by strong performances in Detroit and its populous suburbs.In 2016, Trump narrowly won the Wolverine State by chipping away at the blue-collar base that had long powered wins by Democratic presidential nominees.

a person standing in front of a sign: The strange attack on Michigan's redistricting commission © Getty Images The strange attack on Michigan's redistricting commission

As we witness today's falsehoods, tensions and attacks around our sacred right to vote with the thought of a unified, bipartisan agreement seeming like a pipe dream, voters in one of America's most notable swing states have come together to take a stand against politically-driven division.

In 2018, Michigan voters turned out in record numbers to resoundingly say no to gerrymandering, passing a citizen-led initiative that takes power away from partisan politicians drawing congressional and legislative districts and giving it instead to an independent commission made up of everyday Michiganders.

Democrats face these major headwinds in 2022 elections

  Democrats face these major headwinds in 2022 elections History and a handful of issues threaten the Democrats’ narrow congressional majorities in next year’s midterm elections. © Provided by Washington Examiner Even though President Joe Biden’s job approval ratings remain solid if unspectacular, standing at 52.6% in the RealClearPolitics polling average and 51.3% in FiveThirtyEight’s, the first midterm election has tended to go against the president’s party since the 1930s.

Proposal 2, as the measure was known, didn't just win at the ballot box, it won commandingly. Taking more than 61 percent of the vote statewide, the initiative carried 66 of 84 Michigan counties, both red and blue, large and small - and everything in between. But since then, a rise in extremism and push of President Trump's "Big Lie" has contributed to a resoundingly favored commission now being under almost constant attack, with some seeking to return to a broken status quo that produced some of the most gerrymandered maps in the nation.

One of the most recent criticisms came from former Michigan state supreme court justice, Stephen Markman, who has been trying to convince members of the commission to ignore the literal language of the Michigan constitution, which states the commission is required to draw maps, where possible, that reflect the state's diverse "communities of interest."

Pro-Trump lawyers ask judge to release video of Detroit sanction hearing to combat 'public mischaracterizations'

  Pro-Trump lawyers ask judge to release video of Detroit sanction hearing to combat 'public mischaracterizations' A group of seven lawyers, including Sidney Powell and Lin Wood, petitioned a judge through their legal counsel on Wednesday to release the footage of a Detroit sanctions hearing on Monday over concerns about misinformation. © Provided by Washington Examiner Donald Campbell, the lawyer representing the seven pro-Trump attorneys, insisted the public release of video of the hearing that focused on whether they would face penalties for their 2020 election litigation seeking to overturn the results would help his clients "refute what they believe to be public mischaracterizations" of the proceedings, according to The Detr

A community of interest requirement is hardly unique to Michigan. All told, 15 states, ranging from Alaska to Washington, have some version of this for legislative districts, and 11 states have a similar or identical requirement for congressional districts. While states' definitions of community of interest vary, most are similar to Michigan in defining a community of interest as including "populations that share cultural or historical characteristics or economic interests.

Despite calling himself a strict constructionist, Markman made a strange exception, telling commissioners they should cast aside the state constitution's definition of community of interest in favor of one that is at odds with the text itself. Defying the voice of the people to instead promote political divisiveness trickling down from the national level, Markman's preferred definition treats counties and other partisan, political subdivisions as the only legitimate form of community.

Michigan Senate votes to repeal governor's emergency lockdown powers

  Michigan Senate votes to repeal governor's emergency lockdown powers Michigan's state Senate voted to repeal the emergency powers law that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used to order lockdown measures during the coronavirus pandemic. The GOP-led chamber voted 20-15 along party lines on Thursday to support a petition that could block the Democratic governor from issuing a veto in the matter."No matter what challenges we face, no matter how hard the task is, it is not an appropriate excuse or substitute to say that one person can continuously govern and make rules that have the force of law over the rest of us, and completely bypass the other branches of government," said state Sen.

There is no reason for members of the Michigan commission to go down this road.

Preservation of communities of interest is at the core of reforms approved by voters. Indeed, in town hall after town hall, the splitting apart of these communities was one of the things that voters across the state disliked most. Breaking apart these communities to blindly follow arbitrary boundaries set a century or more ago doesn't guarantee fairness, but in fact, it can be a deliberate tool for just the opposite. When politicians in Michigan, and many other states, gerrymandered districts, they drew maps along township, city and county boundaries, prioritizing a partisan makeup rather than common interests.

California offers a powerful illustration of how community of interest requirements can change representation for the better. In 2011, residents of the Los Angeles foothills came together to make the case to the California redistricting commission to redraw state assembly lines that better served the overriding representational need that was not being met under the current maps - wildfires. Their compelling testimony carried the day and resulted in today's state representative from the area making wildfire prevention a priority.

For the people of a given region, it may well be that their county or township is the important "community" to which they belong. In other places, it won't. But that decision is for the voters to establish. By letting Michiganders, Californians and others around the country tell redistricting commissions how they see their communities - and where representation is falling short - we can ensure that the people's needs are being met ahead of politicians'.

Michael Li is senior counsel for the Brennan Center's Democracy Program, where his work focuses on redistricting, voting rights, and elections. Nancy Wang is the executive director of Voters Not Politicians and one of the authors of the constitutional amendment that created Michigan's independent citizens redistricting commission.

Capitol attack hearing: 'Kill him,' racial slurs and more .
WASHINGTON (AP) — During emotional, tense and sometimes angry testimony, four police officers who defended the Capitol on Jan. 6 vividly recalled the violence they endured while fighting against a mob of Donald Trump's supporters. “I was grabbed, beaten, Tased, all while being called a traitor to my country,” said Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone at the first hearing Tuesday of the new House investigation into the insurrection. The“I was grabbed, beaten, Tased, all while being called a traitor to my country,” said Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone at the first hearing Tuesday of the new House investigation into the insurrection.

usr: 9
This is interesting!