Emergency Manager repeal likely headed to court

In a split 2-2 decision, the Board of State Canvassers failed to approve the Public Act 4 referendum that would have put the repeal of the controversial Emergency Manager law on the November ballot.  That tie likely means the proponents of the repeal –which MEA supports –will be taking their case to court for a final ruling.

The board, which is made up of two Democrats and two Republicans, was ruling on a challenge brought regarding the font size of one of the headings on the petition.  A bipartisan decision would have been required to dismiss the challenge and certify more than 200,000 valid signatures collected–which would have suspended PA 4 until a vote was held on Nov. 6.

An affidavit from the printer who produced the petitions explained why the font size met the legal requirements, but the Republicans on the board sided with the challenger—Bob LaBrant, senior counsel for Sterling Corporation, a Republican PR firm, and retired political and legal director for the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

Michigan courts have made rulings either way over the years regarding disputes over petitions proceeding to election.  Most recently, the Michigan Supreme Court sided with recall proponents and the public interests of democracy against legal challenges by now-recalled state Rep. Paul Scott, allowing that issue to proceed to the ballot.  Stay tuned!