Civil Rights Department: MICRC cards violate voting rights law


LANSING, Michigan (WLNS) – The Michigan Department of Civil Rights has determined that the five electoral maps proposed by the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) violate federal voting rights law.

The decision was filed by Dr. Jerome Reide, legislative liaison officer for the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.

“The cards under consideration do not live up to the requirements of the law and do not pass the test of fairness and equity that should be the goal of this Commission,” Reide said. “The Commission still has time to produce cards that will not dilute the minority vote or violate voting rights law. “

According to his analysis, none of the proposed maps include a predominantly black neighborhood. Currently, Michigan has two majority minority congressional districts, the 13th and 14th.

The Voting Rights Act requires the Commission to design majority-minority constituencies to prevent vote dilution in Saginaw, Southfield, Flint, Pontiac, Taylor, Inkster, Redford, Hamtramck and Detroit.

The United States Supreme Court determined three threshold measures in Thornburg v. Gingles (1986) to assess whether an electoral map violates the rights of minority groups set out in the Voting Rights Act:

  • A minority group must demonstrate that it is large and compact enough to constitute a majority in a constituency.
  • A minority group must demonstrate that it is politically united.
  • A minority group must demonstrate that the majority group historically votes enough as a group to defeat the preferred candidate of the minority group.

Find the MDCR memo to the MICRC on the maps in question here.


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