Michigan Redistricting Commission Adopts New House Map Following Court Order

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) has adopted a new proposed House map after making changes to 15 districts. The map will soon be sent to federal judges for review.

The adopted map, known as “Motown Sound FC E1” was one of 10 draft maps released by the MICRC in early February. The commissioners adopted the map in a 10-3 bipartisan vote Wednesday afternoon after hours of deliberation in the day and a half leading up to the vote, according to Michigan Advance.

The commission’s executive director, Edward Woods III, praised members of the MICRC for giving their best effort:, “The state of Michigan is really in your debt, for what you have accomplished.” Woods added that “It might have been ugly and sometimes it might have been hard sometimes. You might’ve wanted to pull your hair out, but you made it work individually and collectively.”

The MICRC had been facing a March 1 deadline to adopt and submit a new House map. If the judges reject the MICRC’s map, they will instead consider a map drawn by a special master.The three-judge panel plans to rule on the MICRC’s map by March 29.

The redraw is a result of a December decision made by a panel of federal judges that struck down Michigan’s House and Senate maps for being unconstitutional racial gerrymanders. The judges concluded that the districts violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and that the commission drew the boundaries of Black voters’ districts predominantly on the basis of race. 

The commission, which is bipartisan and independent of the Democratic-controlled Legislature, had asked the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the order to redraw, and argued that it “did everything this Court’s Voting Rights Act (VRA) and racial-gerrymandering precedents signals is necessary for voluntary VRA compliance, and it was not possible to do more than the Commission did.” The nation’s high court denied the request, forcing the commission to quickly adopt new state House maps for 2024. 

Though the MICRC will ultimately have to redraw the state Senate districts as well, the matter is less urgent because Senate elections with four year terms won’t take place until 2026, according to the Detroit News. 

View the map here.

Get background on the redraw here.