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The story behind "Reform Michigan Government Now!"

Last week, Carter Wood noted the massive (19,000 word) ballot proposition slated to be before Michigan voters that would radically restructure the Michigan constitution -- including stripping away the two senior-most (conservative) supreme court justices, in an FDR-like reverse-court-packing maneuver. (The Wall Street Journal's John Fund wrote on the measure here; I've had an op-ed pending for a couple of weeks at the Detroit News, addressing the ballot measure as well as the broader litigation themes laid out in the recently released Trial Lawyers, Inc. Update on Michigan.)

This afternoon, Dan Pero at the American Justice Partnership reveals the shocking story behind the ballot proposition:

It turns out that all the suspicions about Reform Michigan Government Now's stealth plan to "reverse pack" the courts to benefit the state Democrat Party have now been shown to be right on target.

The smoking gun is a PowerPoint injudiciously posted on one of the UAW's regional member websites and discovered by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, which has now posted the revelatory document on its website. The UAW PowerPoint makes no bones about the purpose of the measure, boldly titling it: "Government Reform Proposal: Changing the rules of politics in Michigan to help Democrats." The emphasis is their own. . . .

The UAW's PowerPoint lays out "the problem," which is that "Democrats in Michigan have not controlled the entire State Legislature in 25 years," and the Democrats "Must control Governor, Senate, House and Supreme Court" next time redistricting is to occur.

"The Problem," as slides 7 and 8 spell out, is that there is no way that Democrats can achieve this result fairly through the democratic electoral process. As the slides say, it is "a very long shot proposition." Nor, as the UAW concedes, will redistricting reform by itself be approved by the voters.

The only hope then is to "change the rules," and do it by stealth . . . .

The Detroit Free Press reports here.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.