Court of Appeals Punts on Emergency Law Decision

Jun 8, 2012

A special seven-judge panel of the Michigan Court of Appeals will decide whether a referendum challenging Michigan’s emergency manager law will appear on the November ballot.

The referendum drive asked the court to order the question onto the ballot. That’s after a state elections panel deadlocked on the issue of whether a portion of the petition that was circulated was printed in the wrong font size. There is a dispute over whether that’s true.

A three-judge panel of the appeals court said the referendum drive met the requirements set by an earlier court ruling. But the court said it does not agree with that ruling. And, absent that legal precedent, the court would keep the question off the ballot.

That sets into motion an unusual process, where a “super-panel” of appeals court judges will determine whether voters will get to render their judgment on Michigan’s emergency manager law.