The Independent Redistribution Commission has likely violated state law on open meetings by gathering behind closed doors to discuss voting rights and the history of discrimination in Michigan in October, Justice Minister Dana Nessel said Monday.
The Commission, which has come under fire for proposing new maps that would eradicate all 17 majority-black legislative districts, met in private on October 27 to discuss the issue.
The Commission’s task is to redraw the boundaries of the state’s Senate and House districts as well as Congress.
Sens. Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, and Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, asked Nessel for a legal opinion on the closed-door meeting.
“The Commission went into closed session to discuss memoranda entitled ‘Voting Rights Act’ and ‘The History of Discrimination in the State of Michigan and Its Influence on Voting’,” Nessel wrote. “Based on the titles of these notes, the cases under discussion have probably provided the Commissioners with certain legal parameters and historical context, which should be taken into account in the development, preparation and adoption of the redistribution plans. have been made at an open meeting. ”
Nessel added: “The Commission’s task is to develop and adopt new districts that will undoubtedly change the composition of our elected legislators. It remains imperative that such a monumental responsibility be carried out in a public forum. The citizens of this state are due to a transparent process and the Commission must do its utmost to live up to this expectation. ”
The penalty for violating the law on open meetings is $ 1,000.
The Commission did not immediately respond to the opinion.
Protesters have called on the district to redraw the state House and Senate districts in order to preserve the black majority districts.
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