September 26, 2012 Bookmark and Share

House Dems Appeal Immediate Effect Ruling to Supreme Court

Court of Appeals failed to protect constitution, constituents

LANSING — Today, House Minority Leader Richard E. Hammel (D-Mount Morris Township), on behalf of his five co-plaintiffs and the House Democratic Caucus, filed an application for leave to appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court seeking to reverse the Court of Appeals’ ruling and order the House Republicans to follow the Michigan Constitution.

“Until the constitutionally guaranteed rights of legislators — and, by extension, their constituents —are secured, we will continue to fight for those rights,” Hammel said. “We cannot sit by and let the majority abuse its power in this manner.”

Under the Constitution, immediate effect, which supersedes the normal waiting period before laws go into effect, can be given to bills with a two-thirds majority. When one-fifth, or at least 22 members, request a record roll call vote, the Constitution guarantees a record roll call vote. The 46 Democrats in the House far exceed the 22 votes necessary to request a record roll call vote. However, Republicans have ignored these requests and refused to conduct a roll call vote when support for immediate effect is in doubt for extreme and harmful legislation impacting Michigan’s retirees, students and public safety.

“The Court of Appeals essentially said it’s not their business to question governing rules of the House,” Hammel said. “Our lawsuit is not about House rules but about the constitutional rights of Michigan citizens. We’re taking this lawsuit to the Michigan Supreme Court to fight for hundreds of thousands of Michiganders to ensure they have a proper voice in the Legislature.”

✭ State of Michigan
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