Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and members of the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (ICRC) are facing another lawsuit for allegedly violating the Equal Protection and Voters Rights Act (VRA).
This new lawsuit comes after a previous lawsuit was filed by the Detroit Caucus in Detroit Caucus v ICRC, which was denied by the Michigan Supreme Court. Both lawsuits allege that the new redistricting methodology decreases the Black voting age population significantly to 50% or less from an earlier map not adopted by the ICRC which violates the VRA. The plaintiff was able to get the three-judge panel to approve the VRA claims for the 9 districts and 13 districts for Equal Protection violations.
John Bursch, the plaintiff’s attorney, hopes that the trial will end with a settlement to allow the districts to be adjusted within the year. Without a settlement, there would be a delay and the district lines would be redrawn next year. This would heavily impact the primary elections next year as candidates would have to wait for the new district lines to be drawn and approved.
With the complexity of the lawsuit, there could be many possible outcomes. Our McCall Hamilton team is monitoring this development as the trial is set for November 1, 2023.