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Michigan redistricting deal killed by federal judges

Jocelyn Benson

DETROIT (AP) — A three-judge panel has thrown out a deal to redraw at least 11 Michigan House districts for the 2020 election, saying the state’s new Democratic secretary of state had no authority to make a pact with fellow Democrats who accused Republicans of crafting unconstitutional maps.

Friday’s decision means the panel of federal judges will hold a trial, starting Tuesday.

The lawsuit was filed by the League of Women Voters and others who claim districts were shaped by Republican operatives to guarantee the party’s dominance in the state Capitol after the 2010 census. They say constitutional rights were violated when Democratic areas were packed in certain districts or diluted elsewhere.

The secretary of state was a defendant in the lawsuit as the state’s chief election officer. The office changed hands — and parties — when Jocelyn Benson won in November.

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