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  • A supporter of a ballot measure that would create an independent citizens' redistricting commission came dressed up as Michigan's 11th Congressional District, showing how elective districts are often created to favor one party or another. BTL Photo: Todd A. Heywood

Fight to Keep Redistricting Proposal on Ballot at Supreme Court

By |2018-07-18T13:57:56-04:00July 18th, 2018|Michigan, News|

A movement that started with a Facebook post by an earnest 28-year-old woman, and blossomed into a full-fledged citizen run movement which collected over 430,000 valid signatures for a ballot initiative, is facing its final and perhaps largest obstacle yet.
The Republican controlled Michigan Supreme Court.
The proposal would create an independent citizens’ redistricting commission. The objective of the commission would be to draw new congressional districts, as well as state house and senate districts. Supporters say the will of the voters is thwarted in many of the districts because they have been drawn to give one party or the other – depending on which is in power when the districts are drawn.
Opponents, backed by the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and Attorney General Bill Schuette, argue the proposal changes so much of the Michigan constitution that it would require a constitutional convention in order to properly adopt it. They argue the proposal is not just an amendment to the constitution therefore the ballot process is the wrong way to go.
The Supreme Court heard arguments Monday in the case from Voters Not Politicians – the group that has been spearheading the ballot measure – The ACLU, the NAACP, The League of Women Voters, and others. They also heard arguments from Chamber attorneys as well as Schuette, who is vying for the GOP nomination for governor.
The court is not expected to rule until a later date.
As the hearing was going on in the Hall of Justice in Lansing, a rally of more than 150 supporters chanted, cheered, sang and hoisted posters and signs in the air demanding the right to vote on the issue.
Supporters of the initiative have targeted members of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce for public protests to sway them away from continuing the lawsuit. The Chamber, last week, countered that supporters of the ballot proposal had threatened them.
But Katie Fahey, who organized the Voters Not Politicians initiative, called those allegations “a distraction” and part of “dirty politics” in an interview Tuesday night on WILS 1320 AM’s Capital City Recap.
She said Chamber officials had failed to provide details of the alleged threats. She denied the organization condoned or supported violence or calls for violence.

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