State lawmakers from Detroit sue Michigan Redistricting Commission over new districts

Lawsuit claims new district maps dilute power of minority voters by doing away with majority and minority districts

Grant Hermes has the latest on the Restricting Commission’s new maps.

This is the first of what we expect to be several lawsuits arguing the state of Michigan’s new districts violate federal law.

In this suit -- that was yet to be filed as of Monday with the Michigan Supreme Court -- state lawmakers are alleging that the new maps from the Redistricting Commission dilute the power of minority voters by doing away with majority and minority districts at both the state and federal levels.

It also combines communities they say have widely different interest, such as lumping Birmingham, Detroit and Taylor together in a single district.

They’re also alleging that it’s a violation of the Voting Rights Act that requires majority and minority districts to be drawn to make sure there are voices of minority voters heard.

Furthermore, the lawsuit also alleging that the map silence mostly Black voters by separating communities.

The independent Redistricting Commission was warned about this exact thing by the state’s civil rights office last month when they were told the maps didn’t meet federal standards.

In response to that, the commission said they stand by their maps and the opinions of their attorney, but those who were at a news conference Monday said that this suit is not good enough.

“We need to have people who look like us represent us,” said Natalie Bien-Aime, a 13th District member. This political play leads to gerrymandering and it can diffuse community power and leave constituents without adequate representation.”

This suit is being brought by current and former elective leaders just from Detroit, all of them Democrats.

They’re calling on the Michigan Democratic Party to join them in this lawsuit.

So far there’s no word on whether that might happen.

There’s also a time crunch to all of this with less than a year from the mid-terms.

Read: More political news coverage

Some state lawmakers are taking issue with Michigan's new political maps and have filed a lawsuit.

About the Author:

Grant comes to Local 4 from Oklahoma City. He joins the news team as co-anchor of Local 4 News Today weekend mornings and is a general assignment reporter.