Michigan Supreme Court Doesn’t Approve Black Lawmakers’ Opposition to Maps

The Michigan Supreme Court didn’t approve of Black lawmakers’ opposition to the recent redistricting of congressional and legislative maps, WXYZ reported.

The Michigan Court said that the lawmakers did not have reasonable grounds to call into question the state redistricting commission’s ruling to cut the number of majority-African American seats, WXYZ reported.

In a 4-3 order, the court said the lawsuit did not thoroughly show that the plans are noncompliant with the federal Voting Rights Act, per the article. The majority justices also added that the panel’s expert found major white crossover voting for Black-preferred candidates in the Detroit and Saginaw areas, which give Black voters a choice to elect their representatives of choice even if “they do not account for more than half of the voting-age population,” according to the article.

The previous maps had 15 majority-Black districts making up two in the U.S. House, two in the state Senate and 11 in the state House. There are now seven with the new plans that will remain over the next decade, with representation all in the state House, pre the article.

“Plaintiffs have not identified grounds or legal authority that would allow us to question the Commission’s decision not to draw race-based, majority-minority districts,” wrote Chief Justice Bridget McCormack and Justices Elizabeth Clement, Megan Cavanaugh and Elizabeth Welch in the article.

In December, a Coalition of Detroit Caucus members, Council of Baptist Pastors, union leaders, and community activists called a press conference on Tuesday, December 28 at the Shrine of the Black Madonna in Detroit to address the issue before the vote, which the Michigan Chronicle covered previously.   

The local and area movers and shakers spoke to the press inside the historical church discussing their general disapproval over Michigan’s Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission’s (MICRC) plans, which the groups feel would unfairly represent Black Detroiters politically.    

The local leaders want the MICRC to draw fair maps that “do not unfairly crack black communities in Detroit,” Sen. Adam Hollier (D-Detroit) said at a press conference.  

Dr. Steve Bland president Council of Baptist Pastors was also in attendance during the event and encouraged the Commission to rethink the map.  

“We don’t want a return to a Jim Crow state, but a path forward to equitably contribute to the growth of our diverse society,” Bland said previously.  

Bland said during the event that the group’s leaders “stand in solidarity” with the issue of redrawing Detroit’s lines properly.  

He added that the issue of voting is about “citizenship” in the country, founded on principles.  

“Why do we have to see act after act in order for Black people to find their place?” Bland said adding that the Commission’s decision sets the course for what will happen in the next 100 years.  

The Michigan Independent Citizen Redistricting Commission voted on the adaptation of maps on Tuesday, December 28 with adaptation effective January 1.   

  

To find out more information and how to view drafted maps visit www.michigan.gov/micrc. 

 

 

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