Federal Court: Michigan’s Congressional Maps Unfairly Gerrymandered to ‘Historical Proportions’

A federal court in Michigan ruled Thursday that the state's Republican-controlled legislature unfairly drew some legislative and U.S. House district lines in current congressional maps. A three-judge federal panel ordered the divided state government to redraw the maps to remedy the gerrymandering, which it said was “of historical proportions.” “This court joins the growing chorus of federal courts that have, in recent years, held that partisan gerrymandering is unconstitutional,” the judges stated in their opinion. The goal of the current maps, they said, was “to subordinate the interests of Democratic voters and entrench Republicans in power.” The case was brought by the League of Women Voters in Michigan, who argued that Republicans in the state had drawn district lines in order to disadvantage Democratic votes. The lawsuit pointed to emails as evidence to show a deliberate attempt by Republicans to ensure the party continued to have a majority. One email reportedly reads: “We need for legal and PR purposes a good looking map that [does] not look like an obvious gerrymander.” Another email reportedly states: “(The map) protects all nine [Republican] incumbents and it looks good.”