Michigan Rep. John Conyers: Emergency Manager law violates the US Constitution

The Emergency Manager law, Public Act 4, is alread being challenged on two fronts. First with a petition drive by Michigan Forward to put it on the 2012 ballot as a referendum. They are nearing their signature goal and, once they have enough signatures certified, the law is immediately put on hold.

Second, the Sugar Law Center and its partners are challenging the constitutionality of the law, saying it’s a violation of the Michigan state constitution.

Yesterday, Congressman John Conyers opened a third front. He’s asking the Justice Department to investigate the Emergency Manager law for potential violations of the U.S. Constitution.

“I believe the Justice Department has ample authority to review and if necessary challenge this unilateral exercise of power towards the city of Detroit,” Conyers wrote in his three-page letter. “I would ask the department to do so expeditiously, given the very high stakes and very limited time frame.”

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has made no decision whether to appoint an emergency manager for Detroit.

Conyers said the state’s law might violate the federal Voting Rights Act. He said that because the emergency manager law has been used in numerous cities with high proportions of African-American and minority populations, and could be used in Detroit, “it would be perpetuating the discrimination on an even more egregious scale.”

He said the law violates the constitutional right to a “republican form of government in the states.” Conyers cited U.S. Supreme Court rulings that guarantee people a democratically elected form of government and argued that appointment of an unelected manager is contrary to the “concept of democracy.”

As I reported yesterday, if Detroit is put under the control of an Emergency Manager, 49+% of Michigan African Americans will be without a representative government.

It’s a three-front war on this anti-democratic, anti-American law. I like that.

I like that a LOT.

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  • aielman

    So you want the justice department, who’s chief officer has already been caught lying to congress on the Fast and Furious scandal and who is now punishing whistleblowers in that case, to investigate the constitutionality of something?

    Good luck with that. State preemption of local law is completely constitutional. That’s getting as much traction as a jet ski on a waterfall. It may be illegal according to your state constitution, but if Conyers thinks the US Constitution is going to help, that dog won’t hunt. http://www.tml.org/legal_pdf/ConstChallenges.pdf

    • http://eclectablog.com Eclectablog

      Dude, you’re starting to jump the shark. The Justice Department is no longer functional because they fucked something up once? Really?

  • Sharon Douglas

    Inserting EFM’s with the power to sell off public resources and our public commons to private Corporations, to eliminate and void all contracts with public employees & others IS taxation without representation. You think this is an awful this is being done to City after City, one at a time?? This is EXACTLY what the BANKSTERS of the world just did to Greece and Italy.  The Elected Leader of thier nation was forced to step down and replaced with their own hand picked EFM’s!!  And they’re forcing the working class to pay for the Banksters theft by cutting their wages, crushing their pensions, raising the retirement age, and selling off the publics resources to private Corporations.  Sound familiar??  If people don’t wake up & realize that this is the concerted effort and strategic WORLD WIDE plan all along of the Financial and Corporate Elites we will be permanently screwed.

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