21 Aug 2014
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Judge Rules Against Oakland County Redistricting Plan

County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said he expects the Ingham Circuit Court ruling to be overturned by the state Supreme Court.

Judge Rules Against Oakland County Redistricting Plan

The fight over Oakland County redistricting continued Wednesday, as an Ingham Circuit Court judge ruled that a state law which would have allowed Republicans to redraw district lines and reduce the number of county commissioners is unconstitutional.

Judge William Collette ruled the law unconstitutional because it would impose an unfunded mandate for taxpayers who would have to bear the cost of redoing the redistricting, The Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday. It also wouldn't provide enough time for review of a new map before candidates had to file by May 15 to run for office.

The bill, which was  signed by Gov. Rick Snyder in December amid controversy, would reduce the number of Oakland County commissioners from 25 to 21. It also allows the elected commissioners — mostly Republicans — to draw the new county commission districts. The bill quickly passed through the state legislature after the Court of Appeals upheld a previous ruling in favor of the five-member Apportionment Commission's 3-2 vote to redraw the maps, a vote which went right down party lines.

County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said in a statement that he expected Collette's ruling, and that he also expects an appeal to the state Supreme Court.

"Today’s ruling by the liberal Ingham County Circuit Court is a Pyrrhic victory for the Democrats. Ingham County Circuit Court has a long record of ruling in favor of Democrats, only to be overturned by higher courts," he said.

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