Judge won’t block Michigan’s new redistricting commission


FILE – In this Monday, July 15, 2019 file photo, a state districts map is shown as a three-judge panel of the Wake County Superior Court presides over the trial of Common Cause, et al. v. Lewis, et al, in Raleigh, N.C. North Carolina has often been cited as an example of political gerrymandering. Now court rulings against its legislative and congressional districts also could become an example for other states. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) – A federal judge has refused to block the creation of a Michigan commission to draw seats in Congress and the state Legislature after the 2020 census.

Republicans sued, claiming illegal provisions in the 2018 amendment to the state constitution. The 13-member commission is an extraordinary change that will take redistricting out of the hands of lawmakers in the state Capitol.

Many partisan elected officials or candidates or their family members are barred from getting a commission seat. Grand Rapids federal Judge Janet Neff found nothing illegal about the restrictions Monday, saying, “There is no right to state office or appointment.” She rejected a request for an injunction.

The state is mailing 250,000 applications to encourage people to apply for the commission. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson will randomly select four Democrats, four Republicans and five unaffiliated voters.

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