A federal judge has approved the creation of a three-judge panel to hear a lawsuit alleging Michigan’s political districts are unconstitutionally drawn to favor strong Republican majorities in the Legislature and Congress. U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood signed an order Wednesday allowing a three-judge panel to hear the case after former Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer filed the lawsuit last Friday on behalf of the League of Women Voters and other Democrats, including former state Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Fred Durhal Jr. of Detroit.
Plaintiffs allege their constitutional rights were violated by running afoul of free speech rights and equal protection under the 14th Amendment. They argue that when Republicans redrew district lines in 2011, they secured strong majorities that constituted “a particularly egregious example of partisan gerrymandering,” according to the complaint.
“Congressional and state legislative districting plans were developed in a private, secret process by Republican consultants, legislative staff and legislators to the exclusion of Democrats and the public,” the complaint alleged.
Full Article: Federal judge orders panel to hear gerrymandering case.