Case Summary

Fifteen Michigan residents brought suit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan challenging the eligibility requirements for Michigan’s newly created Citizen Redistricting Commission on First and Fourteenth Amendment grounds. Plaintiffs are each excluded from service on the Commission because they fall into at least one of eight categories the law precludes from service. Plaintiffs argued that the preconditions placed on service on the commission based upon applicants' political activities violate their First Amendment rights of freedom of association and speech and Fourteenth Amendment rights to equal protection.

On September 11, 2019, the Michigan Secretary of State filed a motion to consolidate the case with Michigan Republican Party v. Benson, which the court granted.

Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief declaring the commission unconstitutional and enjoining Secretary of State from selecting commissioners. The district court denied Plaintiffs’ preliminary injunction motion on November 25, 2019, which the Plaintiffs then appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. A judgment was filed by the appellate court on April 15, 2020, affirming the district court's decision. A petition for rehearing en banc was denied on June 18. On July 6, 2020, the district court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss this case.

This case and a related case (Michigan Republican Party v. Benson) were appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on August 4, 2020.

Case Library

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan - 1:19-cv-00614

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit - 19-2377

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit - 20-1734