WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Jan. 20, Republicans filed a lawsuit in Michigan challenging the state’s new congressional map drawn with 2020 census data. The lawsuit, filed by a group of Republican voters and current and past Republican officials against Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) and members of the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, argues that the congressional map fails to properly apportion districts in violation of the U.S. Constitution and does not follow “neutral, and traditionally accepted, redistricting criteria.” The lawsuit asks the court to block the current map from being used in future elections and order the creation of a new map. This is the second lawsuit to be filed against the new congressional map.
The main crux of the Republicans’ argument is that Michigan’s new congressional districts are not as nearly equal in population as they should be. They argue that, by not having nearly equal populations in all districts, the new map violates the one person, one vote rule enshrined by decades of redistricting litigation. The plaintiffs calculate that the total deviation between district populations is 0.14% and argue that this population deviance does not further any legitimate state interest. The lawsuit also argues that the commission did not follow neutral redistricting criteria and instead sacrificed compactness and “unnecessarily fragment[ed] counties, townships, and municipalities…without any legitimate or rational State interest.”