When you’ve lost the conservative press, you’ve lost
The Livingston County Press & Argus editorial page is not known for being part of the so-called “Liberal Media”. Quite the opposite, in fact. So, their recent Op-Ed “Politics trumps law for GOP judges” is significant.
The op-ed takes the Republican-controlled courts in Michigan to task for standing in the way of the democratic process by rejecting the petitions containing nearly a quarter million signatures of Michiganders that want Public Act 4 — the anti-democratic Emergency Manager law — repealed.
Often, one hears Republicans and conservatives who bellyache about how so-called activist judges misuse their power to issue decisions that favor their political interests rather than merely following the law.
The conservatives say their judges would never do such a thing. They interpret the law, rather than make it to fit their political goals.
Don’t believe it. They are all too willing to twist the judicial system into a shape that fits their partisan vision.
Take, for instance, the gyrations that some justices are going through to prevent a statewide vote on the state’s emergency manager law. Despite the fact that more than 200,000 Michigan residents signed petitions seeking a referendum on the controversial law, the Republican cabal is doing everything it can to prevent the vote because some of the type on the petition was too small.
How small? A minute fraction of an inch — 1/36th of an inch, to be exact.
It’s beyond ridiculous.
Beyond ridiculous, indeed.
The op-ed explains in great detail the lengths to which conservatives, with cooperation from their Republican judges, have thwarted democracy. The important thing to note is the editors of the Livingston County Press & Argus don’t support the repeal. They are in favor of keeping Public Act 4 on the books. But they realize that we have laws about citizens’ referendums for a reason and these laws must not be trod upon just to advance a political agenda.
The emergency manager law appears to be the only way that cities from Benton Harbor to Detroit will get their financial act together. The motives of the petitioners are suspect. If their proposal reaches the ballot, voters should defeat it.
Nonetheless, the petitioners met the obligations of the law. The issue should be on the ballot. That’s the way it works when you have an independent judiciary that follows the law, not politics. That’s not how it is working with Michigan’s Republican judges, the ones who supposedly follow the letter of the law.
It’s refreshing that they are showing such credibility and consistency and I commend them for it.
[CC scales image: Agradman | Wikimedia Commons]