Michigan’s new political maps could face legal challenge for downsizing black-majority districts

LANSING, Michigan – As Michigan’s new political maps make districts more competitive, they eliminate several predominantly black districts and may soon face legal challenges.

A Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) analysis found that the new map of the US house “Chestnut” resulted in the loss of two predominantly black congressional districts – leaving none.

The new “Linden” State Senate map changes from the current four black majority districts to zero, and the State House map, which currently has 12 black majority districts, will drop to six with the new map. “Hickory”

“Each of these communities of interest could be denied the opportunity to elect a candidate of their choice if the current percentages of majority-minority constituencies are diluted,” part of the analysis reads.

MCDR commissioners passed a resolution last month asking the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission to review their contribution, while saying the proposals could violate the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

“The Michigan Civil Rights Commission urges the MICRC to take all necessary measures to ensure that there is no dilution of minority votes and / or violation of voting rights law,” said the MDCR Vice President Zenna Faraj Elhasan at the meeting.

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But the constituency commissioners still adopted three of the proposed cards, defending their legality at a press conference on Tuesday night.

“Of course, they go to the people, the people who are going to be disappointed,” said a commissioner. “But we certainly gave them a lot of information about how we did it and how we got to what we got to.”

Anyway, some groups are considering filing a complaint in an attempt to change them.

In a statement, Jonanthan Kinloch, chairman of the 13th Congressional District Democratic Party, said his organization was in discussions to retain a lawyer, calling the Congress card a “serious step back, limiting the voice of Afro- Americans and this is unacceptable “.

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John E. Johnson Jr., the head of the MCDR, said the three cards diluted the voting power of minorities, adding:

“It is deeply concerning that a public body in 2021, despite the massive contribution of experts, academics and citizens who will be directly affected by their decisions, has approved cards that do not meet this vital legal and ethical test . The committee will examine this result and consider the next steps to be taken. “

The Michigan Republican Party also hinted at a potential litigation, but did not say what it was, saying in part, “We are weighing all options.”

We will keep you posted if any challenges arise. In the meantime, if no dispute is pursued, these cards will be adopted and will be in place for the next 10 years, starting from the next elections.

RELATED: Here’s How the New American House Map Shakes Things Up in West Michigan

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