Michigan Court of Appeals: Casino ballot initiative is 'unconstitutional'

Aug 14, 2012

This morning, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled a ballot initiative that would approve eight more private casinos in the state will not appear on the Nov. 6 ballot. The court ruled the ballot proposal is unconstitutional.

MLive reports that Michigan Solicitor General John Bursch broke the news on his Twitter account this morning.

The groups Citizens for More Michigan Jobs and Protect MI Vote sparred over the ballot question that would allow new casinos in Detroit, Clam Lake Township, DeWitt Township, Pontiac, Clinton Township, Birch Run Township, Grand Rapids and Romulus.

In June, Citizens for More Michigan Jobs delivered petition with about 500,000 signatures in favor of putting the initiative on the ballot to the Secretary of State’s office.

But Protect MI Vote, backed in part by existing casinos, argued that initiative would bypass the Liquor Control Act and would improperly make amendments to the Gaming Control & Revenue Act, reports the Freep. They filed the lawsuit heard by the Appeals Court that sought to block the ballot question.

Today, the Court of Appeals sided with Protect MI Vote, disallowing the question from the ballot.

However, in a press release, Citizens for More Michigan Jobs Spokesman T.J. Bucholz said his group will fight the ruling.

“From Day One, we have firmly believed the law in this matter has always been on our side. We will read the Court’s opinion closely in the coming days and are planning to appeal the ruling to the Michigan Supreme Court.”