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Secretary of State aims to settle gerrymandering suit

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The new Michigan Secretary of State filed a brief Thursday asking a federal court for a stay of proceedings in a trial over whether Michigan Republicans gerrymandered political districts in 2011.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is asking for a delay so that the state can settle with the plaintiffs, including the Michigan League of Women Voters.

In a written statement, Benson said: “it is clear the court has found significant evidence of partisan gerrymandering and the likely outcome would not be favorable to the state.”

A settlement may include the redrawing of 2020 election district lines. An Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission will redraw state and federal districts for the 2022 elections.

State Republicans, including Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield, successfully intervened in the case in December citing concerns that Benson, a Democrat, “will not adequately protect the Legislators’ interests.”

State Republicans could object to the settlement and ask judges not to approve it.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs asked the court to set a date of February 5th for hearing the agreement being drafted between the state and plaintiffs.

If that agreement is approved by the court they say “the trail will not be necessary.”