At least 11 of Michigan’s 110 House districts would be redrawn for the 2020 election under a proposed legal settlement announced Friday by Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat who said the deal would fix “egregious” examples of partisan gerrymandering. As part of her agreement with Democrats who sued, congressional and state Senate seats would stay intact. The Republican-led Legislature, which in 2011 drew the maps that are in question, would put in place new lines for 11 state House districts — subject to court approval. The number of newly cast seats would be higher, though, because of the impact on adjacent districts.
Benson, the state’s top election official who became the named defendant in the lawsuit upon taking office this month, said there is “significant evidence” that the maps are unconstitutional. The proposed consent decree, she said, is significantly narrower than what could result from a trial the state would likely lose — the possibility of a court-ordered redrawing of all three maps, resulting in “political upheaval.”
“I believe today’s settlement proposal strikes a balance between recognizing the unconstitutionality of the 2011 districting maps while also reaching a remedy that is limited in scope and impact, given the length of time that these districts have been in place,” she said.
Republicans, who have criticized Benson since she announced last week her intention to settle , said Friday that the agreement is an attempt by Benson and Democrats to “steal” the House in 2020. The GOP has a 58-52 edge now. Former Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, a Republican, had defended the maps.
Full Article: Michigan redistricting deal may lead to new state House map.