Michigan Democrats, Michigan Republicans — April 10, 2012 at 6:48 am

Michigan GOP wins a round in its appeal to circumvent the state constitution


The Michigan Republican House caucus won a round in court yesterday. The court allowed three bills passed in an illegal and unconstitutional use of “immediate effect” to remain on the books.

The Court of Appeals has halted a lower court’s injunction ordering House Republicans to grant requests from Democrats to hold recorded roll call votes on whether to put new laws immediately into effect. […]

“We’re disappointed with this emergency ruling, and once a full hearing has been completed we’re confident our claims will be substantiated,” House Minority Leader Richard Hammel, D-Mount Morris Township, said in a statement.

Democrats sought the injunction after repeated attempts to be recognized for motions on the House floor to hold a roll call vote instead of the standing vote the Republicans conduct. […]

The state constitution allows for recorded votes on any measure when it’s requested by at least one-fifth of House members. But Republicans are not recognizing Democratic requests, citing powers afforded to the majority party.The Democrats’ lawsuit dealt with three recently passed measures prohibiting public school employers from collecting union dues, prohibiting university graduate assistants from forming a union and getting approval of the state Board of Canvassers to circulate a petition amending the Constitution.

In a post on Facebook, Rep. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) said:

Today, a three judge panel of the Michigan Court of Appeals agreed to hear the case between Michigan House Democrats and Michigan House Republicans. They are asking both sides to make their arguments on an expedited schedule; but, they did not require Michigan House Republicans to count the votes in the interim.

While I’m disappointed that the Court of Appeals stayed Judge Canady’s requirement that Republicans count the votes when asked, I’m hopeful that the CoA is going to look into the details of this insidious practice.

This has been a pretty typical scenario lately: a circuit court judge makes a ruling favoring the Democrats and the Court of Appeals and/or the state supreme court overturns it.

Hopefully in this situation, constitutionality will prevail. In the meantime, Republicans can continue to defend an action that, on its face, appears to be a flagrant violation of the Michigan constitution. So much for their near-worship of our sacred government documents. The hypocrisy is almost breathtaking.