Lansing, MI – The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission met this morning on campus at Michigan State University after yesterday defending the partisan fairness scores for their proposed state Senate maps as being “good enough” and moved on to Congressional mapping.
Michigan AFL-CIO attorney Sarah Riley HOWARD gave public comment stating that the maps amount to a partisan gerrymander and are therefore unconstitutional.
“Partisan fairness measured by efficiency gap at or near zero is a constitutional requirement, not just a goal. Assertions to the contrary are flat wrong. ‘No disproportionate advantage’ has a plain language, dictionary definition of ‘being out of proportion.’ It does not mean being largely out of proportion.”
HOWARD went on to explain, “Your current partisan fairness efficiency gaps on all maps are not nearly close enough to zero to be Constitutional. As we warned would happen, by ignoring the partisan data, you ended up with a lopsided, unfair Republican gerrymander – contrary to the intent of voters who amended the Constitution. You were not required to ignore it during mapping, and you certainly are not now.”
The MICRC’s draft state Senate map has an efficiency gap of over 6.5%, and provides an enormous and disproportionate advantage to the Republican Party. Under the MICRC’s draft state Senate maps, the Republican Party would likely enjoy a fifth straight decade of uninterrupted control of the state Senate in any realistic forecast of Michigan’s future statewide election results. Under these proposed maps, Republicans would be able to control the state Senate with as little as 47% of the statewide vote, while Democrats would need at least 53% of the statewide vote to win a majority of seats.
As the state’s largest labor federation representing members who are Republicans, Democrats and everything in between, the Michigan AFL-CIO will continue to encourage the commission to adopt maps that appropriately honor both communities of interest and partisan fairness as required by the Michigan Constitution.
The Michigan AFL-CIO Fair Maps Project’s submitted maps and detailed process are available at: https://miaflcio.org/fairmaps