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Federal court sets Feb. 2 deadline for new maps from redistricting commission

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The plaintiffs in the case are asking for an expert, called a special master, to draw the districts for the commission.

A federal court has given Michigan’s redistricting commission until February 2 to redraw seven state House districts.

The court previously declared those district maps unconstitutional, ruling they were drawn predominantly based on race, in violation the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment equal protection clause.

The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission is appealing that ruling and had asked for a stay, which the court denied Monday.

Now, the commission has until the early February deadline to get new maps ready for public comment.

“[T]he Secretary of State needs a new Michigan House of Representatives electoral map as soon as possible,” the court wrote in its order.

In its order, the court also denied a request by the plaintiffs to hold special elections in the six state Senate districts affected by the decision. That means the next Senate elections would be in 2026.

But the court’s Monday order did not touch upon that subject.

Colin Jackson is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network.