A lawsuit alleging partisan gerrymandering by Michigan’s Republican-led Legislature is heading toward trial next week after a three-judge panel rejected a settlement proposed by Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and plaintiffs. Benson does not have the authority to enter into the proposed consent decree without the blessing of the Michigan Legislature, the federal judges said Friday in a ruling rejecting the deal, which would have required reconfiguration of at least 11 state House seats for 2020 elections. A trial in the high-stakes case is set to start Tuesday, but the U.S. Supreme Court could still intervene. GOP attorneys are attempting to delay the case, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Friday asked parties wishing to weigh in to do so by Monday at 11 a.m., a sign the High Court is considering the request.
The suit was filed on behalf of the League of Women Voters and a series of Democrats who allege that congressional and legislative district boundaries approved by the Legislature in 2011 were designed to benefit Republican candidates.
In announcing plans to settle, Benson said the case included “significant evidence of partisan gerrymandering” and predicted the state would lose in court and incur significant legal costs. Her settlement focused on what she said were the most “egregious” examples of partisan gerrymandering — and likely several neighboring districts as well.
Full Article: Court rejects settlement in Michigan gerrymandering suit.