Michigan Supreme Court Rules Redistricting Committee Must Release Documents from Closed-Door Meeting

The Michigan Supreme Court on Monday ruled that the state’s Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission must release documents and recordings related to a closed-door meeting the group conducted earlier this year.

According to the 4-3 ruling written by Justice David Viviano, the commission’s decision to hold a secret meeting violated the state Constitution. The Michigan Constitution states the “commission shall conduct all of its business at open meetings.”

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Michigan Supreme Court Nixes Secretary of State Benson’s Redistricting Extension Request

The Michigan Supreme Court denied a request from Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission to grant an extension for redrawing the state’s district map.

Benson and the ICRC filed a Petition for Relief with the Court in April, asking the Court to recognize the ICRC’s constitutionally imposed deadline as “unrealistic.” The petition argued the new timeline would ensure the Bureau of Elections had sufficient time to update the state’s voter registration database with the new district lines. Additionally, they argued, local clerks would be able to create and provide every voter with a correct ballot.

The extension was requested because of the six-month delay of 2020 U.S. Census data due to the coronavirus pandemic, which, it anticipated, would precipitate lawsuits. U.S. Census data is scheduled to become available Oct. 1. The ICRC was seeking to move its deadline from mid-September to Dec. 11, which would push back approval of final district maps to Jan. 25, 2022. The deadline for the filing of candidates for the November 2022 election is April 15.

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