FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 16, 2018
Contact: Elizabeth Battiste
ACLU of Michigan files brief in support of redistricting reform
Brief asserts voters have right to petition government, deserve clarity
ACLU of Michigan filed a brief with the Michigan Supreme Court in support of the Voters Not Politicians proposal reiterating the right of Michigan voters to petition their government.
“The right of citizens to petition our government to create positive change is enshrined in the Michigan Constitution,” said Kary Moss, executive director of ACLU of Michigan. “Thousands of voters across the state – Republicans, Democrats and Independents – collected more than 425,000 valid signatures for the opportunity to vote for this proposal in November. The Constitution and Michigan law is clear that the Supreme Court should afford them that opportunity.”
The amicus brief points out that a century ago, the Michigan Supreme Court expressly acknowledged that, as a general rule, “neither the legislature, the courts, nor the officers charged with any duty in the premises” should interfere with “the right of qualified voters of the State to propose amendments to the Constitution by petition.”
“The Michigan constitution begins with ‘All power is inherent in the people,’” said Katie Fahey, founder and executive director of Voters Not Politicians. “We’ve seen a tremendous amount of excitement building around this proposal. We thank our partners at the ACLU for adding their important voice on this matter, and we look forward to the court letting voters decide this critical issue in November.”
ACLU of Michigan’s brief joins two amicus briefs submitted by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-California) and Sen. Carl Levin (D-Michigan) and the Campaign Legal Center highlighting the problem of partisan gerrymandering and outlining how Independent Citizens Redistricting Commissions have been created and implemented across the nation.
Voters Not Politicians is a nonpartisan, volunteer-driven organization dedicated to passing a state constitutional amendment to end partisan gerrymandering by taking politicians and lobbyists out of the redistricting process and putting Michigan citizens in charge through an Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. Learn more at www.votersnotpoliticians.com.