Court of Appeals to Rule on EM Referendum

May 17, 2012

It’s up to the Michigan Court of Appeals now to determine whether voters will get to approve or reject the state’s emergency manager law.

The court held an hour-long hearing on the question Thursday.

The referendum drive wants the court to order the question onto the November ballot. That’s after a state elections panel deadlocked along party lines, effectively blocking the referendum. The board’s two Republicans said the print size on the petition was too small.

Attorney Herb Sanders says if the court lets that decision stand, it would send a grim message to more than 200 thousand people who signed the petitions:

“We don’t have a government for the people," he says. "We don’t have a government for the people, we don’t have a government by the people, rather we have a governing dictatorship – and that’s what we want to avoid.”

Sanders says the ballot drive complied with the rules, but, regardless, a technicality should not keep voters from deciding the issue. Opponents of the referendum say if the rules were not followed to the letter, the question should not be allowed on the ballot.