Appeals Court Says Michigan Legislature Ignores State Constitution

Aug 9, 2013

A federal appeals court says the Michigan Legislature appears to ignore the state constitution in how it handles procedural issues on controversial legislation – including the emergency manager law.

The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Rick Pluta attempts to explain.

The Michigan House, in particular, has come under fire for gaveling through actions on controversial bills without a formal vote count. Democrats say some controversial laws - such as the emergency manager law - have been enacted without proper “immediate effect” votes. The Michigan Constitution requires two-thirds majorities.  Otherwise, the laws cannot take effect until months after the session is over.

The U-S Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals says that seems to be have happened with the emergency manager law, which was given immediate effect on a voice vote. Republicans don’t have a large enough majority to do that on their own. If that’s how the lower federal court rules, that could call into question actions taken by state-appointed emergency managers before the law was officially a law.