CASE SUMMARY

On January 5, 2022, a coalition of current and former Black Michigan lawmakers, the Romulus City Council, and other Michigan voters filed a lawsuit against Michigan's Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, challenging the Commission's final congressional and legislative redistricting plans as violating the Michigan Constitution's art. IV, Section 6(13)(a) requirement that districts "shall comply with the [federal] Voting Rights Act[.]" Plaintiffs' claims center around the congressional and legislative districts in and around Detroit, which they assert impermissibly divide Black communities and result in the dilution of Black voters' voting strength in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Additionally, plaintiffs allege that these plans also unconstitutionally violate the retrogression standard under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, citing the new plans' diminution of majority-Black congressional districts from 2 to 0, state Senate districts from 5 to 0, and state House districts from 12 to 2. Plaintiffs are seeking a declaratory judgment that the Commission's proposed final redistricting plans violate the federal Voting rights Act and as a result, the Michigan Constitution, and a court order directing the Commission to redraw the congressional and legislative plans to comply with the Voting Rights Act.

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Michigan Supreme Court