Michigan

State website: State House Redistricting Committee, State Senate Redistricting Committee
2010-cycle districts: Congress, State Senate, State House  « NEW 
2000-cycle districts: Congress, State Senate, State House
Primary governing law: Mich. Comp. L. §§ 3.61-64, 3.71-75, 4.261-265, 4.2005

The Latest

In May, the Michigan Center for Election Law and Redistricting and the Michigan Redistricting Collaborative ran a public competition to draw Michigan district lines. Winning entries are here.

Congress: On June 29, the legislature passed HB 4780, which was signed on August 9. The state sought preclearance in federal court, which was granted on February 28, 2012.

State leg.: On June 29, the legislature passed SB 498, which was signed on August 9. The state sought preclearance in federal court, which was granted on February 28, 2012. A challenge to the state House districts was dismissed on April 6.

  • Institution

    Redistricting political control:

    Governor State Senate State House
    Congressional lines R 12 D, 26 R 47 D, 63 R
    State legislative lines R 12 D, 26 R 47 D, 63 R
    2000 cong. lines R 15 D, 23 R 52 D, 57 R
    2000 state lines R 15 D, 23 R 52 D, 57 R

    Michigan's congressional and state legislative lines are drawn by the legislature, as a regular statute, subject to gubernatorial veto. The members of the state House committee responsible for redistricting are listed here; the members of the state Senate committee are listed here.

    Michigan statutes currently provide the state Supreme Court with original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear challenges to both congressional and state legislative lines. The legislature may modify these statutes at any time. [Mich. Comp. L. §§ 3.71, 4.262]


  • Timing

    Census data were delivered to Michigan on March 22, 2011.

    Michigan statutes currently require congressional and state legislative lines to be drawn by November 1, 2011. The legislature may modify these statutes at any time. [Mich. Comp. L. §§ 3.62, 4.261]

    Candidates must file for congressional and state legislative primary elections by May 12, 2012. [Mich. Comp. L. §§ 168.93, 168.133, 168.163(1)]

    Because Michigan redistricting is controlled entirely by statute, there is no prohibition on redrawing state or congressional lines mid-decade.


  • Public input

    The legislative committees responsible for redistricting held hearings. Archived minutes and testimony is available here and here.


  • Criteria

    Like all states, Michigan must comply with constitutional equal population requirements.

    Michigan must also, like all states, abide by section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Because two Michigan townships (Clyde and Buena Vista) are considered "covered jurisdictions" under section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, Michigan has an obligation to submit redistricting plans to the Department of Justice or to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to ensure that the plans do not discriminate against minority communities in those townships.

    Michigan statutes purport to establish additional criteria for both state legislative and congressional districts, though the 2001 legislature (in a statute establishing congressional districts) chose to depart from statutory guidelines that it had set just two years earlier, and that statutory modification was approved by the state Supreme Court. [ LeRoux v. Secretary of State, 640 N.W.2d 849 (Mich. 2002)]

    The current statutory guidelines for congressional and state legislative districts ask that districts comprise convenient and contiguous territory; that they break as few county, city, and township boundaries as reasonably possible; and that if there are multiple districts within a city or township, districts be as compact as possible, measured by drawing a circle around the district, and assessing the area within the circle (and within the landmass of the state) but outside the district lines. (For multiple state legislative districts within a city or township, districts are to be populated within 2% above or below the mean population, even if the districts are slightly less compact as a result.) The legislature may modify these statutes at any time. [Mich. Comp. L. §§ 3.63, 4.261]


  • 2010-cycle cases

    Michigan v. United States, No. 1:11-cv-01938 (D.D.C.): an action in federal court requesting preclearance of Michigan's legislative and congressional districts.
         - Complaint (Nov. 3, 2011).
         - Notice of consent by United States (Jan. 13).
         - Motion for entry of declaratory judgment (Feb. 22).
         - Order granting preclearance (Feb. 28).
    The latest: On February 28, 2012, the court granted a declaratory judgment preclearing the redistricting plans.

    Detroit Branch of the NAACP v. Snyder, No. 2:11-cv-15385 (E.D. Mich.): an action in federal court challenging the state House districts, based on alleged violations of the Voting Rights Act and the equal protection clause, including targeting African-American incumbents for pairing, and "cracking" the Latino community of southwest Detroit.
         - Complaint (Dec. 8, 2011) and amended complaint (Jan. 3).
         - Motion for TRO / preliminary injunction (Dec. 8).
         - Motion to dismiss (Feb. 23) (and corrected version (Mar. 2)).
              - response (Mar. 8), reply by defendants, intervenor defendants (Mar. 12).
         - Intervenor defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings (Feb. 23).
         - Opinion dismissing case (Apr. 6).

    The latest: On April 6, the court dismissed the case, finding the pleadings insufficient to support an inference of intentional discrimination under the Equal Protection clause or of a violation of the Voting Rights Act.


  • 2000 cycle

    In the 2000 redistricting cycle, the Michigan legislature passed a congressional plan that was signed on September 19, 2001; it also passed a state legislative plan that was signed on September 20, 2001. Both were precleared on February 11, 2002.

    The congressional plan was challenged in state and federal court, and upheld. [LeRoux v. Secretary of State, 640 N.W.2d 849 (Mich. 2002); O'Lear v. Miller, 222 F. Supp. 2d 850 (E.D. Mich. 2002)]


  • Other state links

    Michigan Citizens' Redistricting Competition
    Michigan Redistricting Collaborative

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