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Suit Expected Against Michigan Redistricting Law

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LANSING (WWJ/AP) – The Michigan Legislative Black Caucus says it plans to sue to challenging new boundaries for the state’s U.S. House and state legislative districts.

Democratic Rep. Fred Durhal Jr. of Detroit said Wednesday the suit will be filed in federal court this month.

Legislative district maps must be redrawn every 10 years, after the census determines any population changes or shifts. Since the population declined in Michigan, including a 25 percent drop in Detroit, Michigan is losing one of its seats in Congress.

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder signed the new boundaries into law in August — a move that merged two majority-Democratic Congressional seats in southeastern Michigan, forcing the incumbents to run against each other or retire.

The new boundries are scheduled to kick in with the 2012 election.

Democratic U.S. Reps. Sander Levin of Royal Oak and Gary Peters of Oakland County’s Bloomfield Township are in the same district for the 2012 election under the new plan.  Last month, Peters announced his plan to run against first-termer Hansen Clarke in the newly-redrawn 14th District, rather than challenging Levin.

Some incumbents from Detroit would be forced to compete for the same seat in the state Legislature.

Durhal said the plan is discriminatory, while Republicans who control the state Legislature say the maps are legal and fair.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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