Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
With time running out to bring the issue before the voters, opponents of Michigan's emergency manager law have asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to intervene and place the repeal measure on the November ballot. Opponents of Michigan emergency manager law turn to feds for help:
One week after it made oral arguments to the Michigan Supreme Court, the advocacy group Stand Up For Democracy sent a letter to Holder and Barbara McQuade, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, asking them to act on behalf of the more than 220,000 people who signed petitions to reject the law known as Public Act 4.
Civil rights leaders and others involved in the movement believe the courts have moved too slowly and are appealing to Holder under the U.S. Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Melvin "Butch" Hollowell, general counsel for the Detroit branch of the NAACP, said recent court actions have left the situation in "legal limbo" as the deadline approaches to get the issue on the ballot by Aug. 27, or 60 days before the November election.
"It's been a week now and we haven't heard from the court," Hollowell said. "The Supreme Court has not formally taken this case yet. This is not widely known. Effectively they have put this petition in legal limbo and we felt that a week out from the oral arguments that it was time for us to ask for federal intervention."
Hollowell's letter cited "delay tactics" by state courts and administrative agencies that have blocked residents' rights to vote on the issue.
"We believe the Justice Department has jurisdiction to intervene when a state uses its processes to intentionally deny a federal right, such as the precious right to vote, and we respectfully request that you do so in this matter," the letter states.
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"It's been pretty unprecedented, frankly, at every level," Hollowell said of the delays. "This is one of the most unusual cases I've ever seen."
I have previously posted about how the GOP front group that challenged the referendum petitions based upon the font size of printing, despite the fact that Michigan follows the substantial compliance doctrine, were using the legal system to run out the clock. In Michigan, judges are elected. The Michigan Supreme Court has taken briefing and oral argument, it should rule in a timely manner to sartify the filing deadline. Justice delayed is justice denied.
The Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the referendum organizers, but opined that Michigan law should be changed to require strict compliance rather than substantial compliance -- a major step backwards in history.