LANSING (AP) – The U.S. Supreme Court upheld Michigan’s new congressional boundaries yesterday, just two days before voters were to pick occupants of the newly drawn seats.

Democrats had challenged the plan, which favors Republican candidates. They claimed the plan scatters black voters, who tend to vote Democratic, throughout Republican districts.

“Advances in political data-gathering and computer technology have made it increasingly easy for legislatures to gerrymander with surgical precision, excising and shifting just a few politically undesirable voters at a time,” their lawyer, Paul Smith, had told the Supreme Court. “There has never been a clearer need for some enforceable limit on the ability of legislators to dilute the voting power of a class of citizens based on their political viewpoint.”

Political analysts expect the new districts to change Michigan’s congressional delegation from a nine-seven Democratic majority to a nine-six GOP majority.

The districts were redrawn by the Republican-controlled state Legislature to adjust for population shifts after the 2000 Census.

Michigan lost one congressional seat.

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