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A mystery petition seeks to amend Michigan Constitution



A group calling itself Reform Michigan Government Now has proposed an initiated measure to rewrite the state Constitution, including provisions for all three branches of government. The Associated Press reports the measure would reduce the size of the Michigan Supreme Court from seven to five seats. The state Court of Appeals would drop from 28 judges to 21, while 10 judges would be added to local circuit courts. Salaries would be cut 15 percent.

The financial backing of the group is unclear. The Republican Party has expressed sharp disagreement with the "stealth petition campaign"; the Democratic Party is receptive. The Grand Rapids Press reports: "Notably, the measure uses seniority to determine that Justices Stephen Markman and Robert Young, half of a conservative majority on the high court constructed by GOP Gov. John Engler, would lose their seats in a downsizing of the court. Cuts in the Court of Appeals target Republican jurists as well." The Michigan Association for Justice, the trial lawyers group, says it's not involved.

Details of the measure here. Supporters must submit 380,000 valid petition signatures by July 7 to qualify for the ballot.

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Isaac Gorodetski
Project Manager,
Center for Legal Policy at the
Manhattan Institute
igorodetski@manhattan-institute.org

Katherine Lazarski
Press Officer,
Manhattan Institute
klazarski@manhattan-institute.org

 

Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.