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MI Supreme Court hears oral arguments on gerrymandering case

The Michigan Supreme Court heard nearly an hour and a half worth of oral arguments on a proposal that would end gerrymandering in Michigan. 

The court will hear arguments beginning at 9:30 a.m. in Lansing. Watch live by clicking here.

Attorney Peter Ellsworth argued first on behalf of Citizens Protecting Michigan's Constitution before Solicitor General Aaron Lindstrom joined in on behalf of Attorney General Bill Schuette.

That was followed by Graham Crabtree on behalf of Voters Not Politicians.

Attorney Peter Ellsworth, arguing for Citizens Protecting Michigan's Constitution, going first arguing against Voters Not Politicians' proposal.

Ellsworth said VNP's proposal would create a "super agency" with no checks and balances

Watch live: https://t.co/fs6Fr3w83p

— Maxwell White (@MaxWhiteWXYZ) July 18, 2018

Justice David Viviano is the first Supreme Court Justice to ask questions to Ellsworth https://t.co/oY9eV609va

— Maxwell White (@MaxWhiteWXYZ) July 18, 2018

Justice Brian Zahra is asking whether Ellsworth is comparing the current system or the text of the constitution.

— Maxwell White (@MaxWhiteWXYZ) July 18, 2018

Now Solicitor General Aaron Lindstrom is arguing against the Voters Not Politicians proposal on behalf of AG Bill Schuette.

— Maxwell White (@MaxWhiteWXYZ) July 18, 2018

Justice Richard Bernstein asking how the AG's office (Solicitor General Aaron Lindstrom) is taking a stand against what people believe.

Lindstrom said "We do have faith in people"

— Maxwell White (@MaxWhiteWXYZ) July 18, 2018

Lindstrom also says the people can call for a Constitutional Convention, to which Justice Bernstein responds, "C'mon."

— Maxwell White (@MaxWhiteWXYZ) July 18, 2018

Heather Meingast, the attorney for SOS and Board of State Canvassers asks the Supreme Court to quickly resolve the issue

— Maxwell White (@MaxWhiteWXYZ) July 18, 2018

Now Graham Crabtree is speaking on behalf of Voters Not Politicians in front of the Michigan Supreme Court

— Maxwell White (@MaxWhiteWXYZ) July 18, 2018

Justice Bridget McCormack asks if Ellsworth is comfortable letting justices decide whether or not redistricting should be on the ballot.

— Maxwell White (@MaxWhiteWXYZ) July 18, 2018

Michigan Supreme Court adjourns after hearing nearly an hour and a half of testimony regarding the proposal to end gerrymandering. They hold the final decision of whether or not it will be on the ballot.

— Maxwell White (@MaxWhiteWXYZ) July 18, 2018

Last month, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled against Citizens Protecting Michigan's Constitution, the group suing the Secretary of State over a proposal from Voters Not Politicians. 

The group says that Voters Not Politicians' proposal is too broad and instead says that their proposal "constitutes a general revision which can only be accomplished by the calling of a constitutional convention."

Under the Voters Not Politicians proposed constitutional amendment, an independent commission from state citizens would handle the redistricting. That board would be made up of four Democrats, four Republicans and five members with no political affiliation.

Whichever party is in majority has control of the redistricting process. In both 2000 and 2010, it has been the Republican Party. The next time districts will be drawn is in 2020.

After the 3-0 decision against Citizens Protecting Michigan's Constitution, the group appealed to the Supreme Court, which quickly denied a stay on the appeals court ruling.

On June 20, the Michigan Board of State Canvassers approved Voters Not Politicians' petition, meaning the proposal would be on the November ballot pending the Supreme Court ruling.

The Supreme Court holds the final decision on whether or not the proposal will be on the November ballot.

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