Michigan Republicans have ILLEGALLY passed over 96% (546) of their bills under “immediate effect”


It’s much, much worse in Michigan than we even realized

[NOTE: this post has been updated in this post HERE which contains some important new information.]

Last night, Rachel Maddow broke a huge story that has been happening since Republicans took over in Michigan in 2011 and has gone completely under the radar. Since January 2011, 566 bills have been signed into law passed by the House. Of those, 546 of them, 96.5% were passed under “immediate effect”. Here’s the video from last night’s show that will blow your mind. Pay particular attention to around 12:30 where they show it in action. It’s astonishing.

This is new in Michigan governance. This is not the way that Michigan was set up. This is not the way it was supposed to be…Michigan Republicans are using what is supposed to be an emergency provision for everything, even for the most contentious and partisan and divisive things that they want to do.

Republicans, for example, used immediate effect to take away health benefits for domestic partners of public employees. They jammed it through, Governor Snyder signed it, and then three days before Christmas (awww), it was, “Hey, gay folks, good luck finding health insurance for your families. We just stripped your benefits on the basis of your sexual orientation starting now, starting today, effective immediately, Merry Christmas.” […]

Republicans passed their souped-up Emergency Manager law, naturally, under immediate effect. They passed it on March 15th last year, the governor signed it, and it took effect right then — immediate effect. And then, less than a month later, Benton Harbor’s Emergency Manager seized all power in Benton Harbor. Took power from the town’s elected mayor and elected commission. In the span of one month, starting with a bill sponsored by Benton Harbor’s own representative, Michigan Republicans routed the democracy of that mostly-poor, mostly-African American Michigan town and they were just getting started.

As Rachel Maddow points out, if Public Act 4 had not been passed in this way, it would only have gone into effect in the past few weeks, 90 days after the last legislative session. Think about that for minute. Think about how much has been done to, using Maddow’s phrase, “rout democracy” in our state under that law in the year that it has been on the books. Think about how it could have been different if they hadn’t used immediate effect.

Maddow then went on to show just how illegal this is. It’s something that I pointed out in my piece yesterday titled “Michigan GOP appeals ruling preventing them from violating the state constitution”. It’s the fact that immediate effect can only happen if 2/3 of the members of the House vote for it. But Republicans do not HAVE 2/3 of the House. The entire reason that they have been avoiding using roll call votes is because they did not have the votes to make the laws immediate effect. In other words, over 96% of the laws passed by the Republicans since January 2011 have been illegal in their implementation.

Here is the crazy thing. This the thing we’ve been digging for since we first got wind of this story last week. It is something…it is astounding enough that I almost can’t believe it, I have to tell you. My mind almost cannot compute what I am about to tell you but we reported this out carefully so we can tell you this with confidence. Under the Michigan constitution, remember again, you can only make a law take effect immediately if you have a 2/3 majority, if you have a super-majority. Michigan Republicans don’t have that, in the House, they don’t have that. In order to get 2/3 on any vote, House Republicans would need the help of almost a dozen Democrats. You need 73 lawmakers on your side before you get what the state constitution says you can have if you want that immediate effect, right? You need 73 votes to take effect right away…[F]or the Emergency Manager law…they just attached immediate effect to it anyway. […]

If you look at the numbers that you need for immediate effect in Michigan and then you look at the numbers that the Republicans actually have, it does not seem possible that the Emergency Manager law, or maybe ANY of these laws, passed in the way Republicans are saying that they did. It didn’t happen that way.

For the past year, we have been reporting on Republican governance in Michigan. For the past year, we have called Michigan’s Emergency Manager law THE most radical Republican legislation in the country. And if that radical, radical law had passed under regular rules, if it hadn’t been put into immediate effect, if they couldn’t get a 2/3 super-majority to put it into effect that day when Governor Snyder signed it, then that radical law would only just now be taking effect. […]

What Governor Snyder and Michigan Republicans have done is radical beyond radical. And if it is true that the law should not have even been in effect all of this time, if it is true that Republicans have circumvented democracy and the legislature, too, then what do you call that? That’s radical beyond radical beyond radical. It’s revolutionary even. […]

The 2010 elections ushered in a lot of radicalized legislatures and governors across the country and they have done a lot of radical things…But what has happened in Michigan, I believe, is THE most radical thing that Republicans have done anywhere in the country. They have eliminated democracy. They have eliminated voting rights at the local level in their state. They have tried to eliminate Democrats’ voting rights in the state legislature. Whether you’re on the left or on the right or in the center or if you don’t particularly care about politics, if all you care about is that we have a form of government in this country called democracy, we vote, if you care about the idea that we still use voting here, we still use democracy, if you care about the constitution, frankly Michigan ought to have a flashing red light siren on it right now.

While my most white-hot ire at this is aimed at Michigan Republicans, I have to ask where the hell Michigan Democrats have been on this? What percentage of bills passed with immediate effect without a roll call vote was enough that they finally took action? How many laws passed this way were enough? 5? 6? A dozen? Why on earth are we just now hearing about this when 96.5% of the laws were passed this way? Why did it take 546 before this became a screaming headline?

It’s bad enough that we’re contending with an anti-democratic bunch of Republican zealots but when the only thing that stands between us and them is a House Democratic caucus that didn’t start making a fuss until this late in the game, our chances of prevailing look bleak. We count on them to tell us about these things. Our news media certainly isn’t doing it. Bloggers like me with day jobs can’t sit in the legislature day after day to monitor things. We rely on our Democratic legislators for this. And, in this case, they waited far too long to pull the emergency stop cable.

I’m thrilled that this is finally get the attention it deserves to get. Rachel Maddow and her staff (major shout out to her producer Laura Conaway who I know worked hard on this segment) are doing our state and the country as a whole a huge favor by reporting on this. If you are a Democrat, a liberal, a progressive in Michigan and you can’t find something to motivate you get to the polls in November and to go out and make sure OTHERS get to the polls, then you need to start paying attention NOW. What Republicans are doing here is beyond egregious. It’s illegal. It’s undemocratic. And it’s unconstitutional.

  • This is truly shocking. All the more reason to recall Snyder.  It’s also a clear demonstration of the negative effects of term limits – if we had some ore experienced Dems in the house they might have been more alert to the way the constitution was being circumvented – at least if one gives the current newbies the benefit of the doubt.  Regardless it’s a hugely important story that needs to be spread widely!

    • Your comment on term limits is spot-on, Leslie. I think you’re absolutely correct about this.

      • CB_Demented

         I have to absolutely disagree. Term limits are essential to prevent the type of power cabals we have in congress at the federal level. The longer they are there, the more they get corrupted.

        • kirke123

          i disagree CB. term limits are not enough time at all to learn all the laws and be wisee enough to use them. obviously the lawyers from ALEC suggested they move with the terms under the constitution to put laws into immediate effect and not to use role call vote so they can say 2/3 voted yea. my question, will these laws be challenged at supreme court and will they no longer exist ?

          •  Logical fallacy.  Even knowing the laws has not prevented malfeasance.

    • On the other hand, term limits would clean these people out faster.

      •  The problem with term limits is  it doesnt affect the puppets the far right put in, they are just a button pushing brigade for teh Koch Brothers.  Term limits will prevent the truly good to remain,    The problem isnt the lack of term limits  it is that they would have zero effect on the case

        Since the puppets of the Koch’s all term limits do is they gotta find a new puppet once in a while it doesnt change anything of how the puppet works

        • Of course term limits are imperfect.  So is every approach; they only differ in type, scope and impact.

          As a political independent, I think the pros outweigh the cons.  By far.

        • IL_JimP

           Right all term limits do is flush out all the institutional memory.  So, the people who know how to do things are the lobbyists, they’re always there.  So, people naturally rely on people who know what’s going on, especially when they are doing something new.

          The best part of elections are they naturally create term limits.  If you suck at being a legislator you lose your job.  That’s the kind of term limits I want.

          •  If that actually worked, there would be no incompetent or corrupt career politicians.

            And yet…

          • IL_JimP

             Incompetence and corruption have very little to do with elections or term limits.  People will be inept and corrupt if they are there 30 years or 1 year.

            Generally speaking the reason that elections don’t always work has more to do with us, than with them.

          • On the contrary, the longer one’s career in Congress, the more likely one will be susceptible to corruption and indeed become increasingly beholden to special interests.

            But you didn’t actually address my point, which was a rebuttal to your post before mine.  That point was that incompetent and/or corrupt politicians ARE re-elected, in contrast to what you asserted about election being an effective correction mechanism (“if you suck, you lose your job”).  Great theory, doesn’t necessary hold up in practice.  Sadly.

          • bmj

             Because the electorate doesn’t know or doesn’t care about the corruption.

        • CB_Demented

          The same can be said for both parties.

          There’s nothing more worthless than a career politician. They’re slimier than career used car salesmen.

          • Shfreud

            You are engaging in “false equivalency”.  The problem is not politicians, per say…….the PROBLEM is that the Republican Party has been taken over by Rich Plutocratic Fascists.  They are beholden to the Corporate 1%.  The answer is NOT to blame all politicians and both parties.  The ANSWER is to be brave enough to face up to facts.  These people are bought off by the Koch Bros., ALEC, etc.  Yes, there are corrupt Dems…they are called Blue Dogs, but it is NOT equivalent to the 99.9% of corrupt Republicans that have been playing politics, lying, cheating, repealing all of our social programs and safety nets to enrich the 1% for the past 30 years.  WAKE UP!

          • Nbamj

            Democrats have been doing things like that for years.  Where do you think the republicans learned it from?

          • Dourque

            Definitely another issue: not prosecuting those particular criminals.

          • Jm

             Yeh, nothing like the people that are bought of by the unions and George Soros. Those guys are as pure as the driven snow.
            And NOBODY abuses our social programs and safety nets to enrich themselves, so the programs can’t be wrong.
            WAKE UP! It really is on both sides!

          • Man, I WISH I could get my hands on some of that librul Soros money… ::sigh::

      • kirke123

        we are all reaping the benefits of term limits, how does it feel? egad, 556 illegal laws and nobody, nobody knew the first thing about the constitution?
        i can tell you andy dillion, turn coat dem who is now treasurer, he knew.

        its all unbelievable, and now what. more term limits? more reps with no knowlege of the constitution?

        personally i am in shock!

      • Romeyn

        We have term limits. They’re called “elections”. We get the government we deserve. Term limits essentially tell the majority of voters, “you don’t know what you’re doing.” Does that fly in the face of Democracy?

        • Money has made a mockery of elections… and especially re-elections.

          Term limits also increase the opportunities among the population to serve.  Does THAT fly in the face of democracy?

          I don’t think that term limit opponents really think the issue through. Again: there are pros and cons to ANY option.  Don’t let the perfect become the enemy of the good… and what we have now isn’t good.

          • Spas485

            I don’t think term limit proponents really think the issue through.

            There. That was easy. Just disparage those who disagree and done.

          • That wasn’t disparaging. It was generalizing though, so you could find fault with that and have a valid point.

      • Fred Horein

        The problem with term limits is that there is no shortage of unscrupulous people.  As long as a elected position has a corporate backing, there is no difference between the incumbent and the newbie.  They will both have an excellent legal staff (paid for by corporate backers) with the best advice to circumvent our democracy.  Meanwhile the honest politicians who do not have the same unlimited resources have to start from scratch every few years.  We do not need term limits: we need an end to corporate money in politics.

      • Rjbertz

         Term limits might get rid of politicians, but they leave behind staffers and lobbyists who become the real legislators when you do not have a legislative memory longer than 8 years.  In California, as politicians work to shuffle from one elected position to another, the lobbyists have been able to craft policy to their liking, including so many special exemptions to corporate income taxes that the largest and most profitable corporations in California no longer pay any taxes and in fact receive money from the average Californian who pays taxes.

        •  again, I grant there are pros and cons.  I’m not trying to win anyone over to my way of thinking; simply expressing my opinion on the subject.

          I see congressional turnover as an overall good thing, warts and all.

    • Zillonousstormcloud

      When you seek election as a legislator, if you are unaware of the limits placed on Gov’t by the Constitution, like the inability of the Federal Gov’t to MANDATE a certain expenditure, then you should be considered ultimately incompetent. Apparently, this is a major problem among Michigan Democrats… Sheer and utter incompetence, followed by a practice of cowtowing to their Union Leader Masters, who make millions of Prostituting Michigan Citzens everywhere.

    • Moderate1

      Gov. Snyder is not the Michigan House.  Saying that he ought be recalled over this is like saying that the Republican Senate ought be recalled as well, or that Chief Justice Young ought be recalled as well.  Blame goes where blame is due: The Republicans in the Michigan House.

      • Lgentry

         The nerd didn’t have to sign the bills.  he’s just as guilty as the rest of em!

    • So, since these bills were passed illegally, can they be repealed??

    • Yams

      I have 0 experience with the legislature and I can immediately identify that as being wrong and unconstitutional. This isn’t about term limits. Its about blatant corruption in Michigan. 

  • Pingback: Republican Tyranny: Michigan is the proof of concept. - Page 3 - US Message Board - Political Discussion Forum()

  • Can somebody go back to the last time there was a Democratic-majority state House, Senate and a Democratic governor, and run these same numbers? I have to wonder if this is just one of those “it’s the way things are done” kind of things…  Sometimes the rules get ignored because they’re so widely ignored, nobody bothers to look them up any more.  Would be interesting to contrast.

    • I have never seen this before in Michigan governance.  It appears to be without precedent.  If this is how they passed the emergency manager law, then that law is voidable.  That “emergency measure” provision was meant to be used sparingly.  How do they justify cutting insurance coverage for domestic partners as an emergency measure?  This kind of theft is happening in Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan.  These governors came in under the cloak of job-creation and have done nothing but attack unions and voting rights and essentially repeal the democratic process.  We can disagree on politics, but we should agree that this process is pure theft of democracy.

      • cryingliberty

        As I said on another post, it seems that the Michigan Republicans are acting as though they have a mandate from God, and that nothing, including the rules of good governance, should stand in their way.

        It might sound horrible to say, and I’ll probably get roasted for saying it, but the behavior of the Republicans in the Michigan House seems little better than the behavior of religious zealots in the Middle East that we like to conveniently hold up as figureheads for Islam – the kinds of people who are running roughshod over civil liberties, circumventing laws, and abusing the dickens out of the political system to further their own ends at the expense of their own people.

        It’s the same kind of behavior.

        • CB_Demented

           I disagree somewhat. They’re acting like they’re in power. This is the way both parties tend to act, especially when they haven’t been in power for awhile. They don’t care what the opposition has to say, or the people they represent and aren’t willing to budget an inch other than on petty details.

          I just see Michigan as a microcosm of Washington, albeit one a little bit more ready to part from the constitution.

          • Shfreud

            No liar…..they are not acting like “they are in power”.  They are acting like FASCIST PIGS, who don’t have to compromise or negotiate.  Apparently you don’t understand the workings of government, so I suggest you stop showing how ignorant you are with your uneducated replies.  WRONG again….”both parties” have NOT acted like this.  This kind of thing began with Nixon, continued to a lesser degree with Reagan/Bush and got EXTREME with Gingrich @ Clinton.  I don’t think you are old enough to know what is happening, so you should stop this knee-jerk defense of your overlords.  You don’t know what you are talking about so please stop making such a fool out of yourself and try reading or research.

    • CharlieRedWing

      I can tell you.  It was in the late 70’s early 80’s.  Blanchard was govenor and Democrats controled the State Senate and the State House.  Blandchard and the Dems passed a temporary state income tax increase to get the State out of junk bond staus.  The State was broke.  In six months the State’s bond rating went from junk status to AAA.  Saving us all millions of $ in interest rates.  After a period of time the income tax rate went back down.  The Repbs used this issue to recall several Demoratic State Senators and have held the majority in the Senate ever since.  And no the Dems did not violate the State Constitution to push their legistlation through.  I also feel that this is another indication of how poorly we are served by term limits which guarantee that we are represented by amatuers who are unduly influenced by professional lobyists. 


    • Public Sector Union Member

      http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120407/POLITICS02/204070340/1022/rss10… [If you don’t want to read the article, basically just understand that what Maddow is accusing the “hardcore conservative Republican majority” of doing was being done under the “hardcore liberal Democrats” as well. Not to make it a partisan issue, but since Maddow brought parties into it, she should remember the adage that when you point your finger at someone, there are three fingers pointing to you… She says (at about the 3:30 mark) that “this is new in Michigan governance.” Liar.] By no means do I think the argument of “They did it so we can too” is an acceptable rationalization; however, the outrage over this “controversy” is wholly manufactured and based on politics, not practicality.

      Next, some of the numbers provided by Maddow are a bit misleading. The House has passed 566 bills. But the House, Senate, and Governor combined have passed 385 bills into law (Public Acts). Of these 385 PA’s, 110 were passed under the 2/3 threshold in the House that Maddow is talking about (73 votes). Among these 110, 31 involved what was called the “Corporate Income Tax ‘cleanup’ package,” which changed the languages in the state income tax code in order to put it in compliance and consistency with the federal tax code. Eight of these involved preventing municipalities from enacting “minimum staffing” requirements for their employees, but “grandfathered” in all existing agreements, and four of these involved repealing the income tax exemptions on pensions. This leaves about 67 PA’s that one would consider the Democrats having anywhere near a legitimate complaint regarding the “immediate effect” rule. But let’s take one example as to how the process has worked: the item-pricing mandate law. Remember last year when the state repealed the stupid law that required price tags at everything? Well, it passed the Senate with “immediate effect,” but not the House. So what happened? They still passed the bill, but instead of immediate effect, it took effect September 1, 2011, which was a little more than five months away. This is just one example I found. I’m sure there are others…As for her complaint about the EFM law, I have been saying this ad nauseum since people started talking about it: the original law was passed by Democratic Governor (and Current TV talk show host) Jennifer Granholm to provide an intermediate step in order to help municipalities and school boards from having to declare bankruptcy. If, let’s say Detroit, were to declare bankruptcy, the entire state would have to pay higher interest rates on their loan because the bond rating of the state would immediately go down. Furthermore, a bankruptcy would have the same effect on democracy in Detroit as an EFM does: that is, the city would be ruled by a bankruptcy judge’s appointee, who would be able to wipe out all city contracts (yes, union contracts as well) in addition to limiting the role of city council and the mayor to nothing more than figureheads and procedural entities.

  • This was infuriating to watch.  They slammed the gavel after 3 seconds (or less).  In that time they needed to determine if they had a 2/3 majority by a hand vote?  The Republicans also ignored the request for a roll call on the vote.  As a proud Michigander, I am ashamed.  This is theft.   

  • SteveFromEuless

    My question, which was not answered last night by Rachael, is if there is any recourse or challenge to the 546 laws that were passed under the bogus “Emergency” provision.

    Depending on how Michigan law and the courts are disposed, could this error by the Legislature not void all of the statues so surreptitiously inflicted on the state?

  • nabsentia23

    I heard about this on Maddow and I’m completely shocked!  The GOP is out of their mind.  

  • EMK

    Isn’t this what goes on in countries that are dictatorships?

  • vocqueen

    I know things are bad in Michigan, but holy kee-rist!  My jaw dropped when I watched that segment on Rachel’s show last night.  There appears to be absolutely no semblance of democracy left in the state!

  • Aurizen Darkstar

    What’s even more worrisome is if the Michigan Republicans are somehow able to overturn the judge’s ruling and continue to pass laws in this manner, I wonder how long it would be before other states (and even the Federal gov’t, should it end up in Republican hands again) would see what is going on in Michigan as a template for the other states and the entire country?

    Scary to even contemplate.

  • This story might teach non The Rachel Maddow Show viewers something we TRMS  have been trying to tell them for years. Rachel is the Best in the Business her interviews are 100% Right On and her staff does it’s fact checking before they bring a story to air. And this story may make her The National recognition she deserves.

  • honestyingov

    I made some calls to various DOJ members. Was told an Investigation would fall under the US Attorney General in Michigan. When speaking to the person in the Office… I was rather ” SHOCKED ” that they had not heard about Maddows story. They live RIGHT THERE!!!!
    You might call their Office… see what response might be.
    Public Information Officer (616) 456-2404 


  • Pingback: Michigan House Republicans repeatedly violated state constitution - Politics - The Detroit News()

  • Brian Griffin

    As shocking as this all appears (and as much as I would like to believe that MI repubs are doing something sinister to get some of this crazy legislation passed), Maddow’s “exclusive story” is pretty much racked with falsehoods.

    1) Rachel Maddow didn’t exactly have to go digging very deep to find this story, many local news outlets have been covering the Michigan House Democrats’ lawsuit alleging that the Republicans have been using some shady practices to get legislation passed which was filed over a week ago.

    2) As slimy and seemingly undemocratic as these practices of a quick oral vote + immediate effect of the House certainly are, both parties have been using them regularly for the past 50 years.  There’s absolutely, positively no chance that bills passed in this manner will be overturned or voided, because we’d essentially have nothing on the books.

    3) What the House Democrats are actually suing over specifically is the refusal of requests for roll call votes, not using the IE provision or even the “quick gavel” practice.

    Hopefully someone will get the facts straight before this goes national…

    • Shfreud

      Don’t pay any attention to these desperate followers that are willing to minimize the extreme nature of these Republican thieves and liars.  They will do anything to please their masters and use conjecture, false equivalency, or straw men arguments to do it.  You have to be deaf, dumb and blind NOT to understand how dangerous this is, how wrong it is and how badly this is going to turn out.  Do you people enjoy the idea of “American Fascism”?  I hope so, because that is where you are headed….and no, it is not going to be like Nazi Germany (at least in appearance).  They are too smart for that.  Little by little you will lose your rights, minorities and women will by marginalized, there will be less and less production, etc.  Use your imagination….the things you take for granted like clean water (that the UNIONS got for us) will be gone, along with any healthcare, jobs, fair wage, fair hours, overtime, lunch hours, breaks, etc.  So many of you are arrogant enough to believe it cannot happen, even as it is happening right in front of your eyes….as you shut them tight and claim “both parties” are doing it, or tell yourself it’s for the “best”.  You delude ONLY yourselves.  YOU are the reason why Michigan is in this state.  I used to live there and I’ve never seen such ignorant, and bigoted people so intent on voting against their own interest as in MI. No offense to the smart ones voting Dem, or at least voting against “them”.  We show you all the stats, tell you why you should vote Dem….and what do you do?  You spout Fox talking points, you throw all the myths about how Reps are for “small business” (this is no longer true and has not been true since before Reagan).  ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS LOOK AT HOW EACH ONE VOTES!  Then you’ll know if they are for the military, or not.  Bush’s Admin. for example voted against the troops every time, yet many fools believed he was FOR them.  Nope, but Clinton was.  It’s all propaganda and the failure to recognize that and listen to those that are smarter than you, and have lived through things…..is one of the main causes of this.  LEARN.  READ.  QUESTION.  LISTEN.

    • Aurizen Darkstar

      The problem here, Brian (as was explained) is that the Republicans in the Michigan House do NOT have the 73 vote supermajority required under the state Constitution to be able to use the ‘immediate effect’ part of passing and signing a bill into law.  That was what Ms. Maddow was explaining in her show the other night.  The fact that a roll call was asked for and within roughly 3-4 seconds, the head of the state House gaveled the bill into law and passed it under the ‘immediate effect’ clause of the state Constitution.  Unless he’s able to speed tally faster than a computer, how can anyone be sure that they have the right to use that clause legally?

      And this is more than shady practices if they are circumventing the state Constitution just to get their contentious bills passed and signed into law as fast as possible.  As many have said, that is what many authoritarian nations have ‘played democracy’ with, all the while stating that they had the right under the law  to do what they were doing when they didn’t.

      • Spas485

        The problem with with Brian’s post, of course, is that after claiming Rachel’s story was “racked with falsehoods” he didn’t cite a single falsehood.

        1) was a snide slam at the non-“exclusive” nature of the story
        2) was an unsupported assertion that “both parties have been doing it for fifty years”
        and 3) was a clarification on the Democrats’ lawsuit that was in fact discussed as such in the TRMS report.

        • Brian Griffin


          It’s subscription only, but here’s a taste:

          “In reality, all bills in the modern era have traditionally been given IE as long as the votes are there — and this has been the case regardless of the party in power. 

          From 2006 to 2010, for instance, when there was a Democratic House and Republican Senate, bills still won IE routinely. The main difference was that there were a lot more one-chamber bills, as there was less the two bodies agreed on. 

          Bolger countered that, ‘Maddow claimed that regularly granting Immediate Effect is a new procedure created by Republicans.’ 

          The Speaker said that Democratic Gov. JenniferGRANHOLM signed 242 laws in 2009 and the majority House Democrats gave IE to all but two. In 2010, Granholm signed 383 laws and all but 18 of them had IE, he said. Of those 18, 17 were passed in December, making the issue of Immediate Effect nearly moot, he said. 

          Bolger also said that House Minority Floor Leader Kate SEGAL  (D-Battle Creek), followed the same IE procedures as Assistant Majority Floor Leader last session.”
          Again, to reiterate, I am not in any way endorsing the undemocratic abuses that the Republicans in the House are committing, but everyone–Michigan residents in particular–deserves the full truth; that these kinds of abuses have been perpetrated by those on both sides at different points.

  • Brazil

    Rachel Maddow is a breath of fresh air to journalism. What an amazing report, and shocking to me as someone who is from Michigan and just may move back there one day. There was a time when I was a child in the 70’s, it seemed the state had it all. Highest rate of SECOND home ownership in the country (think hunting cabin or shack at the beach), highest rate of (fishing) boat owners. The average guy had it all back then. Not anymore, thanks to the GOP. This report should be a wakeup call to people who love Michigan everywhere to get involved and save your home, even if its as simple as making people that you know that still live there sit down and watch this report. These are FACTS! While Rachel’s presentation is impressive even IF this information has been previously reported locally. It needs to be a national issue. As noted, if the GOP can be successful in doing this in what is a BLUE state, with this is a template, imagine what they could do elsewhere. I find it ironic that the man who chaired the commission to protect the state from abuses like this was a GOP governor and is the father of the likely winner of the GOP nomination for President who is drifting hard to the right. If his father were alive today, he’s be left of most Democrats. He and his pal Ronnie Reagan would be Progressive. Reagan the was HEAD of a union!!! Oh my how far to the right we have drifted. 

  • Rkrlburnett

    I visited the state legislature several times last year and noticed the resistance to the use of roll-call voting. I still believed the math had been duly recorded? State Representative Dianne Slavens reported to the 11th District Democrats late last year regarding the use of the emergency clause, and having many of their initiatives taking immediate effect. It does seem to me that the House, or Senate leaders should have been cognizant of such behavior, and doing something about it? Maybe they were just waiting to allow the thing to “build-up” for effect? I think they may have believed it would make little difference as republicans control the majority in everything in Michigan, and even if the lower courts (as in the redistricting of Oakland County Commissioners was done?) supported them, the State Supreme Court would simply overrule them? The things going on in the Michigan State Legislature are lawmaking genocide! And it’s about time someone ordered everyone out of the pool and checked to see what’s in the water!

    • Chazmcginnis

      What about President Obama and his Czars. Obama is trying to get around checks and balances and I haven’t heard one Democrat, Liberal or Progressive come out a protest against his actions. Is this story being released now as a way to draw attention from Obama’s actions? I wonder.

    • Chazmcginnis

      What about President Obama and his Czars. Obama is trying to get around checks and balances and I haven’t heard one Democrat, Liberal or Progressive come out a protest against his actions. Is this story being released now as a way to draw attention from Obama’s actions? I wonder.

      • Well, if the Republicans wanted to draw attention to the Czar issue, they could vary easily: Step 1: Don’t do something worse than what you want to attack the other side for. Step 2: see step 1. Either the rule of law and the Michigan Constitution, as crafted by George Romney and friends, was violated or it wasn’t. I assume you saw the clip, so I doubt you would be truthful if you claimed that “vote” was legit and legal. If you have a defense, please I’d love to hear it. 

      • Jneumann54

        Czar facts. Where was all the outrage about “czars” when a Republican was President. And when he had MORE “czars”?


        • Spas485

          and what does “Obama’s Czars” have to do with this story anyway?

      • Jerribuzo

        Obama has done NOTHING illegal. Republicans ARE! If Obama wants to get anyting done he has to work around the Republicans because they will not work with him. Their only goal is to make him a one term President. They are heading us into communism and Obama is in the way. What is happening in Michigan will happen all over our country if it is not stopped NOW. Republicans are dedicated to Grover Nyquist and the 1% ONLY! They have no dedication to the American people. Wake Up. These are not the Republicans that we voted for in the past. These are criminals and our freedom is on the line.

  • Orlandobob

    Republicans hate democracy – they can’t even say “Democratic Party”. That’s why they say “the Democrat Party”.  They don’t like it when people vote. They’d rather have corporations run the country. The things they are doing in Michigan do not surprise me at all, except, maybe I’m surprised they haven’t done it sooner. I guess they needed the Deliverance Wing of their own party (Tea Baggers and the like) to push them to action. 

  • Moodinale

    I can only assume Brian Griffin is commenting on an entirely DIFFERENT Michigan ….one in Bizarro World?  So , NO, Ms. Maddow’s stories are not ‘ RACKED WITH FALSEHOODS” nor is this story .Pretty much all progressives and the sane conservatives respect this woman’s research and calm evenhanded journalism . Vox populi , Brian , except for ‘ humans ” like Limbaugh and Savage and their ilk , who would not recognize a fact if it bit them on the ass and who most SANE ( you might want to look this word up ? ) conservatives consider to be lunatics and a detriment to the Republican Party . And now you. No , this has emphatically NOT been the way business has been conducted for the last fifty years in Michigan. You are simply making that up, and unfortunately for you there are actually ways of checking on that. Where I come from what you are doing is called LYING ? Perhaps you should look that word up too , your understanding of what constitute the facts seems more than a bit shaky . No , voiding the patently illegal laws would NOT leave ” nothing on the books ” …what a ludicrous thing to say .  Again , may I suggest you get someone , a grown-up perhaps , to explain that stating something provably untrue with the pompous assurance of ENTIRELY spurious authority does not , in fact , make the horseshit you are selling a fact. 

    • Brian Griffin

      Making straw man arguments and putting things in CAPITAL LETTERS can make you appear correct to the casual observer.  If that doesn’t work petty insults might just make your case.

      I never said that Rachel Maddow’s stories are typically incorrect, just that this one is.  I respect her and enjoy her show.  The current abuses of immediate effect and rushing through proceedings on a purely oral vote may be worse than in years past, and in more detrimental ways, but there is absolutely no doubt that this has been going on in the MI state legislature since long before Snyder was around.  Multiple lobbyists I’ve spoken to and a good friend of mine who intimately covers the state legislature have confirmed that this sort of abuse, while technically against proper House procedure, has historically been supported by murky interpretations of the state constitution.

      If you really feel it’s necessary to somehow prove me wrong, go ahead and check the House minutes…I’ll wait.

    • Brian Griffin

      Making straw man arguments and putting things in CAPITAL LETTERS can make you appear correct to the casual observer.  If that doesn’t work petty insults might just make your case.

      I never said that Rachel Maddow’s stories are typically incorrect, just that this one is.  I respect her and enjoy her show.  The current abuses of immediate effect and rushing through proceedings on a purely oral vote may be worse than in years past, and in more detrimental ways, but there is absolutely no doubt that this has been going on in the MI state legislature since long before Snyder was around.  Multiple lobbyists I’ve spoken to and a good friend of mine who intimately covers the state legislature have confirmed that this sort of abuse, while technically against proper House procedure, has historically been supported by murky interpretations of the state constitution.

      If you really feel it’s necessary to somehow prove me wrong, go ahead and check the House minutes…I’ll wait.

      • Shfreud

        Why don’t you right wing trolls make your ludicrous comments on Fox News, okay? You are the little fool making straw man arguments.  This is about what the Fascist Republicans  did….not your lies about how “both parties do it”.  People like you deserve to be treated like the fools that you are.  We can’t hold a civil argument with a child that goes popping off with lies and conjecture.  You need to be quiet.  Maddow’s story is not incorrect.  You are a liar.  Fox News does not even have a news license.  Is that where you are getting your idiotic ideas from? In fact, they won a lawsuit that allows them to lie to the public.  This is FACT.  So, if you hold such little self-respect for yourself that you bother to give that “show” the time of day….that’s your problem, but they are NOT credible.  

        No, MI has NOT done this before so stop lying.  Oh and fyi, little boy….it is YOU that needs to prove your idiotic statement true….not for us to prove it false. We will all wait, smart ass.  Apparently, you don’t know the proper rules of debate either.  Right wing talking points are propaganda…..you’d be better off sniffing glue than repeating that noxious drivel.

      • jimmyjazz101

        show us the proof it has been before or at least denote the legislation. i think you are full of it.

  • Pingback: Cheers and Jeers: Rum and Coke FRIDAY! | Hotspyer – Breaking News from around the web()

  • Rkrlburnett

    Dear “Chazmcginnis”,..   I was not, of course, even talking about the President of the United States, however,…  I don’t believe I can recall any events related to the President ever trying to override checks & balances? I hope we don’t find out you are one of those Lyndon LaRousche democrats that are hanging around the side of the roads under a canopy with signs suggesting folks can “pull over here to help impeach Obama?”  We were on the subject of the Michigan Legislature? I am a very busy guy, and don’t have the time it takes to do low-intel battle with trouble making bloggers.

  • Waiting for Mitt Romney’s response to the crisis of government in his “home state.” Yeah…right. Oh by the way Mitt’s own father was on the Constitutional committee that crafted the amendments the Republicans are now openly ignoring. Where the hell are the Radical Republicans (1870’s style) when you need em? If a liberal leaning super PAC doesn’t tie this Michigan insanity around Mitt’s neck, they are missing a golden opportunity. I want him on the record, up or down if he supports the GOP thugs running the state he grew up in. I want him to tell the people of Detroit and other Michigan cities to their face that he agrees with the GOP thugs that they should not have local elections and should have their cities and localities run by un-elected people making unilateral decisions, and a legislature that does not at all respect the rights of the minority party. Of Course Mitt never will, because he is Mitt.

  • Pingback: Voter ID = Jim Crow Laws? Discuss - Page 3()

  • kirke123

    i am in shock, total shock. this is and should be #1 on any leaders agenda. the constitution is what i am speaking about. im sorry but its the constitution which these reps and senators take an oath to  uphold.
    will the laws now be challenged and dismissed?

    obviously the republicans knew what they were doing, and therefore they did not uphold the constitution but blaintly dismissed their oath.

    now who will step in? will the supreme court step in and vacate every law passed. will the govenor be sued by individual citizens for violating the michigan constitution? what is the penalty for deliberatetly violating the michigan constitution?

    its amazing that every group who has fought the EMF had no clue?

    so now what? does every displaced mayor and council and school board march into their office and have the EMF kicked out? do people have the right to not follow the law? ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? 

  • matt5140

     I wasn’t that long ago  everybody was getting on the band wagon to recall Granholm.

    • Not everybody. Certainly not me. I think she was a terrific governor.

  • NoMoreRetoric

    As an independent, while I am greatly concerned about what is happening in Michigan, I am far more concerned about the future, We are headed down a path of escalating extremism, corruption, hate and anger. Do not think for one minute it could not happen here in the USA. We have thousands of years of human history that tell us what can happen. I was a right leaning moderate until this last round of Republicans took office(s). Neither party has my respect anymore but the Republicans have become the poster child for corruption and greed. In the past when the Democrats started to shift too far to the left, I could always count on the Republicans to reestablish balance. But now the Republicans have shifted so far to the right that they are no longer even in the same ball park. While I have accepted that our political system has corruption in it, the Republicans have taken this too an all level. There is something worse then corruption for purpose of amassing wealth and power, and that this is corruption that leads to destruction of Democracy. Democracy is the most precious commodity of all. We are headed down a slippery slope and I believe the USA is at risk of entering a very dark time in our history. WE the people must rise up and assure that Democracy is preserved and understand that it is not in our best interest for one party to have too much power. We must not forget about the human condition, which is why we have law’s to establish and maintain some level of fairness and balance in our system. It is not perfect, but it works. But it only works because we as Americans know there is still a line which should not be crossed. I am concerned that we have crossed that line and that the consequences of that will lead to further transgressions and erosion of respect for our fellow Americans. We must remember that we are ALL Americans first and always.

  • Mhk2950

    They Should NOT be allowed to get away with this!!  It is an outrage!!  Snyder was never qualified for the job, he just had a ton of money!!  Very sad state of affairs for the State of Michigan!!  : (

  • Concerned

    Why is this not the big story on every news network in Michigan?!?

  • Rickvator

    The  attorney general is supposed to be the people’s attorney not marching lock step with his party.  We need to recall/throw all the bums out.  THIS JUST GOES TO SHOW WHO THEY THINK THEY REPRESENT…..NOT US

  • Rochester MI

    “While my most white-hot ire at this is aimed at Michigan Republicans, I have to ask where the hell Michigan Democrats have been on this?”
     It is apparent that they are not adept or smart enough to be governing or competing with a superior opponent, the Republicans.  So vote stupidity our of office and fill the seats with more intelligent Dems, if there is such a thing. I am disgusted. I give up.

    A convert to Libitarian and Independant

  • kirke123

    the leaders of the democratic party should step down now. there is no excuse for this lack of constitutional knowledge, none!

    • There’s a bit more to it than what you’re seeing as utter incompetence so don’t get out your torches and pitchforks just yet. Check back tomorrow. I’ll have a piece up that gives a fuller picture.


  • kirke123

    and, the MEA has an abundance of knowledgable  lawyers and people who have knowledge in the constitution, where were they??? no wonder the mea and the democratic leadership didnt take part in the snyder recall?

  • mc1964

    Considering that the Republicans seem to want to alienate as many people as they can, I have
    to wonder who is voting them into office? Why are the people of Michigan tolerating this? Is there
    really no legal recourse? I see a lot of comments whining about the Democrats, but they aren’t 
    the ones causing the problem. I also hear lots of whining from Fox News about how the evil
    liberals are destroying America, but the truth is that it’s the almighty conservatives that are hell
    bent on destroying the country. They just use propaganda to make it seem like the left is to
    blame. What’s happening in Michigan is happening in other states as well, such as Wisconsin,
    and if the people don’t do something to stop it, it really will be the end of America!

  • Perryl14

    I suggest all Michiganders call the DOJ and make a stink! Call your city councilman, State Senators, Assemblyman. You see the head turns the body and no one likes to get their hand slapped from Big Daddy….and YOU are Big Daddy! This is just the tip of the iceberg of things that will get discovered….but if you want it to happen, it’s up to ALL of you to make it happen. 

    So put their feet to the fire and make it happen or shut up and live with it! You’ve got to be proactive…don’t wait for the next guy to do it. You want democracy…you’ve got to practice it…EVERYDAY! Democracy is not for the weak, it’s for the ones who have a constant faith. 
    You see the politicians know damn well you won’t do anything about this, they can count on it, they make bets that you won’t follow up.  BUT when you do call, e-mail, fax, show up at their office and call them on it…they’re like frightened rats in a corner. They hate it, because their under the microscope. Just think of it as High School…you’re the teacher and their the student…so make them stay after school!

    There’s an old saying in Greek “The more you stir the shit, the more it stinks.”  So whose ready to catch some rats and make it stink?  It’s fun watching them scramble.

    I gave you some links, you do the rest!    

    http://www.justice.gov/usao/miw/ Go Michigan!

  • Pingback: Michigan Republicans Illegally Passed Over 96% of Bills Under ‘Immediate Effect’ | SPH - Small penis humiliation()

  • politepatrick

    I hope each of you posters follows this story diligently. When you see that this problem (and it IS a problem) has nothing to do with which side of the aisle you’re on I hope you will have the decency and courtesy to come back here and post something to the effect that you apologize for being a short sighted lemming.

  • Michigan: Almost Arizona

  • jembeai

    Just moved out of Michigan. It was too bad to leave my beloved childhood home, but the job situation is atrocious across the state. I wasn’t happy with Obamacare passing under a simple majority, and I’m not encouraged to see this either, but Michigan does need an infusion of something.

    Why did it take more than 500 “illegal” laws to notice? Maybe ’cause Michigan needs some change, and not all of them had to deal with the LGBT community.

    •  The Emergency Manager law is a not a change anyone needed. It takes away democracy and replaces it with well-connected crooks empowered to sell public assets at firesale prices to the big-wigs and developers and corporations who’ve been drooling in envy for years.

  • A Conservative Teacher

    It’s strange- I looked it up, and your blog seems to never
    had a problem with this practice when the Democrats were doing it. In 2009, the
    Democratic majority got all but two of the 242 laws it passed to go immediately
    into effect after then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm signed them. In 2010, Granholm
    signed 383 laws passed by the House, 365 of which had an immediate-effect


    One of two things likely explain this post and all the
    comments on it- either it took several years for you all to finally wake up to
    the fact that the Constitution is being ignored by both parties, or (more
    likely) you are all hypocrites.


    Hypocrites are liars of the worst sort (the Greeks thought
    that hypocrites were just cowards hiding behind pretend words)- they are people
    who pretend to care about things but really don’t, instead using things (such
    as this shady procedural move) to advance their interests.


    Typically these scum-of-the-earth liars pretend to care
    about an issue when it hurts them, but when it helps them out they are silent
    on it, thereby displaying that their words are meaningless and that their
    arguments are empty.


    So either plead long-delayed ignorance of the issue, or you’re
    all liars.

  • positivenerg

    Interesting article. But if there is no roll call requested and it’s a voice vote … if the chair rules it was a 2/3 vote, then it simply IS a 2/3 vote. Of course, if the Democrats request a roll call vote in these situations and THEN the 2/3 vote isn’t there, then you don’t have a 2/3 vote. So all of this is really a moot point unless you indicate that there were roll call votes and they didn’t get the required 2/3 (assuming your assessment is correct … and I have no reason to doubt it). Otherwise, there is simply no story AT ALL here. Other than a call to arms to the Democrat minority to say “Hey folks, ask for a roll call” and then things change. Kind of a silly story without that …

  • Dboivin531

    I always had a feeling that Governor Snyder was not a person to be trusted and hear it is now coming out. We the tax payers and residents of Michigan need Snyder and these Republican thieves out of Michigan altogether and get honor back into our state of Michigan again. Why aren’t these people being arrested for these crimes?

  • BryanCooper

    The Michigan Republicans have lost what little soul they ever had.  This is simply lying – to the people and to the Court.  They have violated their oath of office and their own Constitution.  You MUST count votes to run any democracy.  Failure to do that is asking for a true revolt against power.  Failure to count votes is a justification for civil disobedience.  Their next plan is to continue the suppression of voting rights which is happening all around the US.  Such a shame to see what was once a true political party with valid ideas, become merely a facade for corruption.  Their lack of  convictions is amazing – they have such little faith in democracy that they feel they must lie to get their way.  Truly a shame and a waste.  

  • Captbh3643

    We need to get Granholm back in office, she can fix it. 

  • Rkrlburnett

    How about a new concept,…    let’s work hard at reinforcing the importance of paying attention (instead of running around the end of an issue to avoid it for themselves?) to the issues, learning once again how to place the greater good in front of “what’s-in-it-for-me?”;…   getting out as INFORMED VOTERS each election and not letting one party have the State Supreme Court, the Governor’s Office, the State Senate, and the State House of Representatives all at one time?

  • Pingback: Our Govenor Rick Snyder - City-Data Forum()

  • Pingback: Death of Democracy in Snyder’s Michigan « vegasjessie()

  • Guest_Who_Peed_In_Your_Pool

    This is dirty pool. But perhaps the Dems didn’t mention it sooner because they were doing it when THEY had the majority. We should expect better from both sides.


  • Pingback: Michigan Killing Democracy()

  • Pet63

    This is all well and good, but what is going to be done about it????? You are argue about all kinds of things in these comments, but what is needed is action. Get behind the people that are distributing the petitions to recall this idiot in Lansing. Don’t just say that you are going to do it, do it. If everything that has been written here is actually illegal, then it sounds as if someone needs to be prosecuted. Like I said. What is going to be done about it?

  • Pingback: occupyallstreets: leftist-linguaphile: enlighteningnews: It’s much, much worse in Michigan than we even realized Last night, Rachel Maddow broke a huge story that has been happening since Republicans took over in Michigan in 2011 and has gone complete()

  • guest

    Has she ever been to Michigan?

  • Pingback: The Podcast : Episode 69 | Angry Hippie's Soapbox()

  • Pingback: INTERVIEW: Rev. Charles Williams II to lead march from Detroit to Lansing to protest voter suppression, Public Act 4 and more | Eclectablog()

  • Pingback: Michigan Court of Appeals gives Republicans green light to ignore the Constitution | Eclectablog()

  • Pingback: INTERVIEW: Rev. Charles Williams II to lead march from Detroit to Lansing to protest voter suppression, Public Act 4 (updated) | Eclectablog()

  • Resident11

    You a s s holes already tried and failed to recall the best Governor the State of Michigan has had in decades…good luck..it ain’t gonna happen mr. owebumma lover! LOL,LOL,LOL!

  • Resident11

    NO! Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha!

  • Resident11

    No prez has had more czars that your mandingo love interest! No prez has ever been such a fake and fraud as your affirmative action mandingo love interest!

  • Backgammon

    We know how that worked in Wisconsin!

  • Ellis Wyatt

    A Harry Reid tactic employed against Democrats. Brilliant.

  • Mary Sullivan

    Wild applause!! They do their dirtiest work in the shadows of holidays. The pattern is clear.

  • Blizzy Snow

    Snyder knew about the lead in the water for quite some time. What i want to bring to eveyone’s attention is what they are trying to do to the medical marijuana program in place. http://www.mlive.com/lansing-news/index.ssf/2015/11/michigan_cops_seek_changes_to.html

  • Barbara Manson

    Vote them out and where feasible, prosecute them! Their party needs to be held responsible and they also need to take personal responsibility. It’s a bit like the mob. It’s hard to get the bosses (Koch) but the way to trim them back is by term limits. They have to keep finding new Schmucks to fill the vacancies.

  • disaksen

    Not that what is being done in Michigan is proper, but it is no more divisive or improper than the violations of the US Constitution and federal law the President Obama and his appointed administrative heads have been doing for the past 71/2+ years. Funny how Maddow and her leftist media buddies have never bothered to bitch and bellyache about them. Republicans and Democrats should ALL be reprimanded and/or punished for violating the federal or local constitutions, or laws. If Maddow is going to disparage legislators for law violations, she ought to be doing it for all parties equally hard.