Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Committee, the group responsible for redrawing the state’s congressional districts, is under fire from both sides of the political aisle.
In October, the members of the group held a closed-door meeting, despite the fact the state’s Constitution says the “commission shall conduct all of its business at open meetings.”
The amendment was approved by Michigan’s voters in 2018 to create a transparent redistricting process.
Therefore, Republican and Democratic elected leaders have slammed the move. Senator Ed McBroom (R-Waucedah Township), chairman of the Senate Oversight Committee, and Senator Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) asked Attorney General Dana Nessel for a legal opinion on the matter.
In the opinion, Nessel detailed that “the discussion should have been held at an open meeting.”
“The Commission is tasked with developing and adopting new districts that will no doubt change the makeup of our elected legislators,” Nessel added in a statement. “It remains imperative that such a monumental responsibility be conducted in a public forum. The citizens of this state are owed a transparent process and the Commission must do its best to meet that expectation.”
Senator McBroom praised the opinion and called for greater transparency, contending the commission’s closed meeting violated Article 4, Section 6 of the Michigan Constitution. McBroom also challenged the committee to not hold anymore closed meetings.
“I am pleased with the legal assessment that the MICRC’s Oct. 27 meeting should have been open, according to the state constitution. I am also grateful that legal clarity has been given regarding an issue that on its face seemed clear to most observers. I look forward to the relevant documents from the meeting being made public and, more importantly, that a mistake like this does not happen again,” McBroom said in a statement.
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