Judge rules against state House Republicans in dispute over "immediate effect"

Apr 2, 2012

 A judge has issued a temporary injunction blocking a legislative maneuver that state House Republicans have been using this year.

The state House has passed more than 500 bills this year with a provision that the bills take effect as soon as the governor signs them.    State House Democrats sued, claiming the Republican leadership ignored their requests for votes to delay implementation of the bills.

Attorney Michael Hodge represents the House Democrats.  He says the House Republican leadership has been shutting out the minority party.

'That’s what they’re doing with the immediate effect," says Hodge, "they’re cutting off the right of the people to petition for a referendum and to stop the law from taking effect."  

Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Clinton Canady granted a temporary injunction blocking implementation of three bills, already signed into law by Governor Snyder,including one prohibiting a graduate student union at the University of Michigan.    

Attorney Michael Hodge represents the House Democrats.    He says the judge’s ruling may end up affecting more than 500 bills passed by the state House this year.

 "I think they’re all in jeopardy," says Hodge about the "immediate effect" provision in the bills, "If (House Republicans) really think they can get immediate effect on those bills.  They should take’em back and have a real vote on them.”

An attorney for the House Republicans describes this as a ‘sibling squabble’ among legislators that the courts should not get involved with.   

Attorney Michael Murphy represents the state House Republicans.   He says the state House can’t keep doing what’s its been doing. 

"(House Republicans) have to change things….right now there’s a court order and we’ll follow it," says Murphy. 

A governor's office spokeswoman says their lawyers are reviewing the injunction.