Michigan conservatives believe their Supreme Court may have just dealt them a death blow.
An anti-gerrymandering proposal is now being permitted on the upcoming November ballot.
Since the redrawing of district lines in 2011, Republicans have increased political influence in the state.
According to the current state constitution, boundaries are set every 10 years by whatever party is in power at the time.
Democrats are contending that Republicans manipulated the districting to give them more power.
They back that with the claim that even though the state is more liberal leaning, Republicans are dominating congressional seats.
Republicans contend that making a significant change such as this is, in essence, altering the state’s constitution.
This is something that can only happen with a constitutional convention, as this matter is far more complicated than an amendment to the current constitution.
If the new proposal passes, the future of Michigan will be dramatically altered in terms of setting political boundaries.
The proposed redistricting panel will consist of 13 members.
The panel will have four Democrats, four Republicans, and five members that are independent and not affiliated in any way with a major political party.
The panel would be appointed by the Secretary of State.
That particular aspect was part of the dissenting opinion by Michigan Chief Justice Stephen Markham, who wrote in his dissenting opinion:
“The VNP proposal would affect the ‘foundation’ power of government by removing altogether from the legislative branch authority over redistricting and consolidating that power instead in an ‘independent’ commission made up of 13 randomly selected individuals who are not in any way chosen by the people, representative of the people, or accountable to the people. This, in my judgment, reflects a fundamental alteration in the relationship between the people and their representatives.”
It is hard not to argue that this is business as usual for Democrats.
Something is happening that they don’t like, so they are trying to change the rules of the game to fit their needs.
In this case, a constitutional guideline that has been followed for more than a century is suddenly no longer valid.
They are so determined to hold onto their power in a state dominated at the local level by Democrats that they now want to change the constitution in order to prevent even a scent of conservative influence.