Emergency manager law opponents move to put referendum question on the ballot

Jun 20, 2012

Supporters of a referendum to overturn Michigan’s emergency manager law want to make sure that question is on the November ballot.

They filed an emergency motion with the Michigan Court of Appeals Wednesday to speed that process along.

After a complicated legal process, the Court of Appeals ruled the question should go on the ballot last week, but without specifying it could take “immediate effect.” So the order could sit for as long as 42 days.

Melvin “Butch” Hollowell, a lawyer with the pro-referendum group Stand Up for Democracy, says this asks the court to act within seven days, to ensure the ballot question doesn’t get bogged down in the legal system.

“Then the order that they’ve already entered, saying this must be placed on the ballot, becomes an order for the Board of Canvassers to meet, and for them to certify this question,” Hollowell said.

“We’re not going to let this judicial process get all twisted up in knots and delayed. We’re going to make sure that it moves quickly.”

But Bob LaBrant, a spokesman for the group Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility—which initially managed to keep the measure off the ballot because of a dispute over petition font size—calls the move “meritless.”

LaBrant says the group will file an appeal with the Michigan Supreme Court, possibly as soon as next week.