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Cinderella bracket continues in Democracy Madness

The Final Four in the Elections quarter of our Democracy Madness draw is upon us — and it turns out only one top seed has made it to the regional semifinals.

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Michigan's 14th congressional district was designed to pack Democratic voters from Pontiac and Detroit into one convoluted district.

Michigan​ redistricting commission gets appeals court's green light

In a huge win for the opponents of partisan gerrymandering, a federal appeals court has quashed a well-funded legal challenge from the right to Michigan's new independent redistricting commission.

The requirements for sitting on the panel, designed to limit the number of even potentially partisan players, were upheld as constitutional Wednesday by a unanimous 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. Republicans maintain the criteria violate free speech and equal protection rights of would-be public servants.

Unless the Supreme Court decides to step in, which for the moment looks unlikely, the panel will be created in time to draw new congressional and legislative seats after the 2020 census. Michigan will be the second-biggest, after California, of the 13 states where at least some mapmaking will be done by such a nonpartisan commission.

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Anti-gerrymandering campaign in Oklahoma hits new roadblocks

A campaign to end partisan gerrymandering by the Republicans who run Oklahoma is facing more legal challenges in its efforts to bring nonpartisan mapmaking to the Sooner State.

In October, a coalition of redistricting reformers filed a petition with the secretary of state seeking permission to get signatures on petitions proposing a November ballot measure to create an independent commission that would undertake the next round of legislative and congressional redistricting after this year's census.

The application was quickly challenged in court by those seeking to keep the power in the hands of Oklahoma's entrenched, Republian-controlled Legislature.

They won a partial victory last month when the state Supreme Court ordered People Not Politicians, which is pushing for the commission, to rewrite its proposed language for the ballot summarizing the legalese of the referendum. The court ruled the wording lacked sufficient detail.

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