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Michigan court depacking scheme off the ballot, for now



Jonathan Adler reports at National Review Online:

Michigan "Reform" Off of Ballot -- For Now   [Jonathan Adler]
A Michigan appellate court has ruled that a "reform" initiative designed to shift control of the entire state government, including the judiciary, should not be on the November ballot.  Coverage here and here.  I wrote about the initiative for NRO here

This is the scheme backed by organized labor that, among many other changes, would reduce the number of Supreme Court and appellate court judges, kicking off Republican appointees in the process. The goal was to gain control of all branches of government in time for the next round of redistricting after the 2010 census.

Earlier posts...

UPDATE (10:48 a.m.): The Court of Appeals ruling is available here as a .pdf file.

UPDATE (1:25 p.m.): The court's opinion is unsparing. From the conclusion:

The RMGN initiative petition is overarching, of a reach and expanse never before seen of any constitutional initiative in Michigan's long history. It proposes fundamentally to design the very framework of the Michigan Constitution of 1963, which emerged after an historic convention and subsequent voter approval. The issue is not whether the motivation for the proposed changes is altruistic or parochial. And the issue is not whether any one or several or all of the proposals in the RMGN initiative petition are warranted or make sound public policy. The issue is that our present Constitution contains specific language requiring that any proposal of the magnitude and enormity of the RMGN initiative petition must be submitted to a constitutional convention, and then to the citizens for approval. We may not blithely ignore or conveniently overlook Const 1963, art 12, ยง 3, requiring a constitutional convention for any "general revision." The Michigan Constitution has transcended, and will continue to transcend, the lifetime of any single constituency, and it demands no less than a rigorous application of its prescribed methods for modification.

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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

 

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The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.