Court of Appeals Asked to Lift Order That House GOP Count Procedural Votes

Aug 8, 2012

A battle over how Republicans in the Michigan House of Representatives count votes was argued Wednesday before the state Court of Appeals.

Democrats sued the House Republican leadership on a procedural motion that requires a two-thirds super-majority. Republicans don’t have that many votes on their own.

The motion is required by the state constitution to allow laws to take effect right away. Democrats say Republicans have bypassed the requirement on controversial legislation.

Assistant Attorney General General Heather Meingast argued for the House Republican leadership. She says courts should not be telling another branch of government how to conduct its affairs.

“This isn’t a place that the courts should go,” she says.

Michael Hodge is the attorney for the Democrats.

“If the courts of the state of Michigan can’t enforce the constitution, then who can?,” he asks.

He wants the appeals court to uphold a lower court order. It says Republicans have to count and keep track of votes on immediate effect motions.