Common Cause Joins Bipartisan Brief in Support of Michigan’s Voter-Approved Nonpartisan Redistricting Commission

Brief argues that the conflict of interest provision is essential to stopping partisan gerrymandering and ensuring a healthy democracy

Today, Common Cause joined a group of nonpartisan and bipartisan political reform organizations in filing an amicus brief at the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in support of Michigan’s nonpartisan redistricting commission in Daunt v. Benson and Michigan Republican Party v. Benson. These consolidated cases represent an attempt by the Republican party to undermine the landmark redistricting reform passed by a huge majority of Michigan voters in 2018.

“Michigan voters sent a clear message to lawmakers in Lansing in 2018 that the days of rigging election maps to benefit a political party were over,” said Kathay Feng, National Redistricting Director at Common Cause. “Overturning the will of Michigan voters would be a blow to democracy and another cynical power grab by partisan politicians.”

The brief argues that limiting the role of political insiders in redistricting is the cornerstone of meaningful redistricting reform. In fact, even states that have not adopted a fully independent redistricting commission model have regularly moved to exclude political insiders from being the defining voice in the redistricting process.

The brief also argues that meaningful redistricting reform is essential to a healthy democracy and economic prosperity. Specifically, the brief states, “Conflicts of interest in redistricting undercut the fundamental premise that our republican form of government is representative.” This extends to social and economic wellbeing.

Common Cause is joined by The Leadership Now Project, Issue One, Equal Citizens Foundation, RepresentUs, and The Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress as amici on this brief. We are also grateful to Michael Kimberly of McDermott Will & Emery for his invaluable assistance in drafting and filing this brief. Common Cause National Redistricting Manager Dan Vicuna drafted and provided research for the brief.

Read the brief here.