A federal appeals court order that some of Michigan’s legislative districts be redrawn has been overturned by the United States Supreme Court.
Writing for the 5-4 majority, Chief Justice John Roberts didn’t clear Michigan Republicans of unfairly setting the boundaries of nearly three dozen districts to give their party the best chance of winning them after the 2010 census.
Instead, the high court ruled that legislative districting matters are exclusively a state issue, and that federal courts have no authority to intervene.
The original order by the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court directed that the districts in question be redrawn before the 2020 election.
Last year, Michigan voters passed a law that would put the next round of district-drawing in the hands of an independent commission. That law is being challenged by Republicans, who also reduced funding for the commission in the new state budget, and transferred control of the commission from the Secretary of State’s office to the legislature.