State of Michigan

Michigan Legislative Redistricting Challenge (Agee)

Agee v. Benson

Lawsuit filed on behalf of Black voters challenging Michigan’s new legislative maps drawn with 2020 census data. The lawsuit argues that, in drawing new state House and Senate maps, the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act by depriving Black voters of an adequate number of districts in the Detroit area where they can elect candidates of their choice. The plaintiffs point to the fact that the number of majority-Black state House districts decreased from 10 in the previous map to six in the current map, and the number of majority-Black state Senate districts went from two to zero. The lawsuit also alleges that, by intentionally lowering the percentage of Black voters in these districts without a justified interest, the Commission used race as the predominant factor in drawing legislative districts and therefore the maps are racial gerrymanders in violation of the 14th Amendment. The lawsuit asks the court to block the current maps and order the creation of new maps; relief is not being sought for the 2022 election cycle. Litigation is ongoing and trial will begin on Nov. 1, 2023.

Case Documents

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