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Court Case

Michigan Republican Party v. Benson

On August 22, 2019, the Michigan Republican Party and five individuals who affiliate with the party filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state’s independent citizen redistricting commission under the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

Last Updated: September 11, 2019
Published: September 19, 2019

On August 22, 2019, the Michigan Republican Party and five individuals who affiliate with the party filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state’s independent citizen redistricting commission under the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

The plaintiffs argue that the commission’s rules violate their First Amendment rights to free speech and association, as well as their right to equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment. The suit claims multiple aspects of the rules governing the commission are unconstitutional, including the mandated partisan composition of the commission and the eligibility requirements that bar certain people from serving as commissioners. The plaintiffs argue that these rules, among others, discriminate against political parties, as well as against individuals for their partisan affiliations and political activity.

The plaintiffs are asking the court to declare the commission unconstitutional and block the Michigan Secretary of State from enforcing any part of the constitutional amendment through which it was established.

On August 22, the plaintiffs also filed a motion to enjoin commission proceedings pending litigation.

On September 6, the court allowed Voters Not Politicians, the group that sponsored the proposal to create the redistricting commission, to intervene as defendants. 

On September 11, the case was consolidated with Daunt v. Bensonanother case challenging the constitutionality of the redistricting commission. The consolidated cases will proceed under the name Daunt v. Benson, and subsequent case filings can be found here

Documents

District Court