Michigan — September 2, 2011 at 9:38 am

UPDATED: GOP House Speaker Jase Bolger loses his day in court – appeal of recall fails on all 4 counts


Autumn Smith’s effort to recall Republican House Speaker Jase Bolger has been a roller coaster thanks to legal gymnastics Bolger has been performing. (For some history on his pathetic and desperate attempts to avoid facing his constituents at the ballot box next February, click HERE.)

When we last visited this drama, Bolger had filed a number of lawsuits against the Calhoun County including on that actually challenged the constitutionality of the Calhoun County Election Commission itself (I know, I know — I said it was desperate and pathetic.)

Well, this week, despite having spent an incredible amount of money on the best lawyers his wealth can buy, Jase Bolger lost when he had his day in court.

Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger has lost his appeal of a decision allowing a recall effort against him to move forward.

The ruling by Calhoun County Circuit Court Judge Conrad Sindt came soon after Emmett Township resident Autumn Smith said she was ending her campaign to recall Bolger, R-Marshall.

In his ruling, Sindt affirmed a decision by the Calhoun County Election Commission approving Smith’s recall petition language. He also struck down Bolger’s claim that he was denied due process when the commission allowed Smith to make minor changes to her petition during the clarity hearing.

Sindt said he was bound by decision from Michigan appeals courts in rejecting Bolger’s arguments that the recall process violated constitutional separation of powers and that the commission improperly approved multiple petitions.

Smith said today that the ruling was confirmation that the petitions she circulated were not illegal, like a Bolger spokesman said this week.

These are the arguments he lost on:

  1. Separation of powers – Bolger claimed that the Michigan Constitution says that no member of one branch of government may exercise powers of another branch. DENIED!!!
  2. Approval of multiple petitions – Bolger claimed that the approval of multiple petitions submitted by Autumn Smith is “inherently unclear” and that Smith should be forced to put all reasons for the recall in one petition. DENIED!!!
  3. Due process violation claims – Bolger claimed that he was denied due process in the June 13th clarity hearing because he wasn’t given enough time and because they allowed some trivial typos to be corrected on her petition language submission. DENIED!!!
  4. Clarity of the petitions – Bolger claimed that petitions were unclear. DENIED!!!

Bolger, apparently, hasn’t had enough and may continue to rack up legal bills fighting this, according to his spokesman Ari Adler.

Adler said Thursday that Bolger believes any signatures Smith has collected are still invalid. “We need to take a look at this and see if there will be any more appeals,” he said of the ruling.

Smith, as the first article notes, is having to step back from heading up the recall. She is returning to school and will not have the time or resources to continue to taking the lead on this. However, she has vowed to help anyone who wishes to pick up the ball. If you wish to get involved, contact me at eclectablog at gmail, contact Autumn Smith at her Bolger recall Facebook page HERE, or contact the Committee to Recall Rick Snyder HERE.

Autumn Smith has gone through an amazing amount of hassle in this entire process and has forced Bolger to spend enormous amounts of money to avoid this recall. My hat is off to her. She’s only 26 but she’s done more to exercise her rights as a citizen than most of us will do in our whole life. I wish her well and truly hope that there will be folks in Bolger’s district willing to pick up where she has left off and recall this odious Republican.

UPDATE: As Christine Barry writes at Blogging for Michigan, Autumn Smith may have caught Ari Adler illegally trying to interfere with the Bolger recall. Click through for the full story.