Add your name to the LWV-AAA list of interested citizens who want to be notified of League events and actions related to redistricting as they become available.
League Lawsuit and VNP ballot Proposal described
MLive, December 29, 2017
Reviews two challenges to current Michigan redistricting system:
League of Women Voters' lawsuit and
Voters Not Politicians ballot proposal.
BREAKING NEWS: LWVMI FILES LAWSUIT IN FEDERAL COURT TO END GERRYMANDERING IN MICHIGAN
On December 22, 2017, The League of Women Voters of Michigan and 11 individual voters filed a lawsuit against the State of Michigan in federal court in Detroit to end unfair, partisan gerrymandering of Michigan's Congressional, state senate and state house districts.
"The Michigan League of Women Voters today filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of voters throughout Michigan to end the practice of unfair, partisan gerrymandering," said Judy Karandjeff, president of the Michigan League of Women Voters. "Michigan's State House, Senate and Congressional districts are among the worst in the nation when it comes to partisan gerrymandering, and today's lawsuit aims to fix the problem and restore voters' rights to choose who best represents them. Ending partisan gerrymandering is critical to preserve our democracy and ensure every vote counts," said Sue Smith, director of the League's Redistricting Program.
The lawsuit asks the federal court to declare the current districts to be unconstitutional partisan gerrymanders and to ensure that the districts are redrawn in a fair fashion. Click here for the complete Press Release. Click here to read the Complaint.
LWVMI BOARD VOTES TO SUPPORT VNP REDISTRICTING BALLOT PROPOSAL
Over the past several months, the LWVMI Board has stated it would consider supporting the proposal once VNP had collected the requisite number of signatures and had submitted them to the Secretary of State's office.
At a special LWVMI Board meeting on December 17, the state Board voted to support the VNP ballot proposal.
As many of you know, local Leagues participated in a state redistricting study in 2011-12 which resulted in our state redistricting position. The language of the VNP ballot proposal conforms with that position.
This Board decision will be published on our LWVMI website, as well as in "League Links." We are mindful of the Campaign Finance Law requirement that restricts our spending in support of the proposal to less than $500 in direct or indirect expenditures.
Coalition Efforts Continue:
For almost a year, the League has worked to form a redistricting reform coalition with other organizations that represent the diversity in our state. While we haven't been successful yet, we will continue these efforts in the coming months. We believe such a coalition is necessary for a successful ballot campaign.
Click to see specifics of the Ballot Proposal Process
LOOKING FOR A SPEAKER ABOUT REDISTRICTING?
Do you belong to a Washtenaw area group (book club, neighbors, hobby, or other) that wants to learn about legislative redistricting?
LWV-AAA has teams of trained presenters who will describe how redistricting is currently done in Michigan, what the issues are and what could be done to improve the process. The presentation is educational in nature and not associated with any ballot campaign.
To find out more, contact Redistricting@lwvannarbor.org
"The Math Behind Gerrymandering"
Wired magazine article
explains the details behind drawing lines political districts to gain advantage.
PENNSYLVANIA GERRYMANDER LAWSUIT
The League of Women Voters is one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Pennsylvania seeking to nullify the state's congressional-district map as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. Check out this June NY Times
article for details. Hearings were scheduled to start December 11 according to Mother Jones
The Pennsylvania suit was filed in state court and, if successful, would impact only Pennsylvania redistricting. Three other gerrymandering lawsuits ( Maryland, Wisconsin and North Carolina) were filed in federal court and could have nationwide impact.
Pennsylvania 17th congressional district and Pennsylvania 7th congressional district
FYI: Michigan Elections - Disclosure Division MANUALS:
A Bit of Fun
The Terminator speaks
NPR Program "The 1A" on redistricting
April 3, 2017 program viewed the redistricting question from different viewpoints. Click HERE
to go to their website. And be sure to take a look at the Gerrymandering Quiz/Rorshach test.
Justin Levitt Professor at Loyola Law School; former Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice; maintains the website 'All About Redistricting'
Michael Munger Professor of Political Science at Duke University
Kelly Ward Interim Executive Director of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee; former Executive Director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC)
Chris Jankowski Republican strategist; former Executive Director of the REDMAP Project at the Republican State Leadership Committee
Amend the U.S. Constitution to limit political gerrymanders? A recommendation by John Paul Stevens, Supreme Court Justice (ret)
U.S. Supreme Court Justice (retired) John Paul Stevens, in his 2014 book "Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution", addressed the problem of political gerrymandering, remarking "...I do not believe any judge has had anything good to say about partisan gerrymanders. There should, therefore, be overwhelming support for an amendment to the Constitution that merely requires federal judges to apply the same rules in cases challenging political gerrymanders that they have applied to racial gerrymanders. (p.43)"
Justice Stevens' suggested wording for an amendment:
Districts represented by members of Congress, or by members of any state legislative body, shall be compact and composed of contiguous territory. The state shall have the burden of justifying any departures from this requirement by reference to neutral criteria such as natural, political, or historic boundaries or demographic changes. The interest in enhancing or preserving the political power of the party in control of the state government is not such a neutral criterion.