BIG: Independent Redistricting Commission To Appear On MI Ballot
Credit: cseeman
August 1, 2018

This isn't a sexy indictment story, but it's very important. Thanks to the state Supreme Court, Michigan voters will get a chance to support a commission that will minimize gerrymandering and Republican dominance in Democratic districts, Via the Detroit News:

Lansing — A proposal to create an independent redistricting commission will appear on the November ballot, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled late Tuesday in a closely watched case.

The 4-3 decision is rife with political implications in Michigan, where Republicans have maintained or grown congressional and legislative advantages since last drawing the state's political boundaries in 2011.

Volunteers with the Voters Not Politicians committee gathered nearly 400,000 valid signatures to put the anti-gerrymandering plan before voters. The Board of State Canvassers certified the group’s petitions, but the proposal was challenged as being overly broad.

In a split decision, the state’s highest court ruled that voter-initiated proposals are permissible if they do not “significantly alter or abolish the form or structure of our government, making it tantamount to creating a new constitution.”

Republicans fought hard to stop this:

Republicans who drew the current boundaries have publicly denied any overt bias and say existing laws already limit manipulation. But recently revealed emails between map makers that were disclosed as part of a separate federal lawsuit point to political calculus.

"We've spent a lot of time providing options to ensure we have a solid 9-5 delegation in 2012 and beyond," then-Michigan Chamber legal counsel Bob LaBrant told a legislative aide in 2011, referencing the congressional majority Michigan Republicans now enjoy.

Other emails showed GOP aides suggesting ways to contain “Dem garbage” to four congressional districts in southeast Michigan and joked about how one district could be shaped to give “the finger” to a Democratic congressman.

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