U.S. Dept. of Justice Consents to Michigan Redistricting Plan
On Tuesday, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced a decision by the U.S. Department of Justice clearing the way for Michigan’s redistricting plan to move forward. The plan, developed by the Michigan Legislature and signed into law by Governor Snyder in August 2011, redraws the boundaries of Michigan’s congressional and legislative districts to address population shifts reflected in the 2010 census.
Michigan filed a request in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in November 2011, seeking formal approval of it redistricting plan. Under the federal Voting Rights Act, certain states and localities are required to see “preclearance” from either the United State Attorney General or the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia before any proposed change in election laws become final. The preclearance requirement applies to all or parts of 16 states, including Michigan.
In a Notice of Consent filed with the Court on January 12, 2012, attorneys for the U.S. Department of Justice consented to Michigan’s redistricting plan, finding it to be in full compliance with the requirements of the Voting Rights Act.