News outlets across the state filed a lawsuit against the Michigan Independent Redistricting Commission this week, aiming to get them to release secret memos that were used to draw districts.
Bridge, The Detroit News, Detroit Free Press and Michigan Press Association filed the lawsuit.
“We’re suing because the process that this group follows will guide redistricting commissions for decades to come. To allow an unconstitutional slide towards secrecy is to sow more seeds of distrust,” Detroit News Publisher and Editor Gary Miles wrote in an op-ed for the paper.
“Michigan voters went to great lengths to ensure transparency and meaningful public participation in the redistricting process,” the lawsuit reads. “Accordingly, plaintiffs, as members of the public, have the necessary clear legal right to public disclosure of the redistricting materials.”
“We are not surprised or distracted by this lawsuit and will continue our mission to draw fair maps through public engagement openly and transparently,” the commission said in a tweet.
“It is a statewide civic embarrassment that this (lawsuit) is necessary, John Bebow, president and CEO of Bridge Michigan and The Center for Michigan, said. “But the embarrassment rests with the redistricting commission. We cannot rest until that commission follows the Constitution, acts in full transparency, and releases the doggone documents.”