Michigan Supreme Court asks for more info on Emergency Manager law case
The Michigan Supreme Court has asked Gov. Rick Snyder to supply more information about why he thinks the high court should rule directly on a legal challenge brought against the Emergency Manager law in Ingham Circuit Court.
In June, a group of 28 plaintiffs from across the state filed suit against Snyder and Treasurer Andy Dillon over the new law that gives state-appointed Emergency Managers virtually complete control over financially-troubled local governments.
The plaintiffs argue that the law violates the state constitution’s “home rule” provisions and the Headlee amendment, which bans the state from enacting unfunded mandates (towns must pay the expenses of Emergency Managers assigned them).
They also say the the law violates the separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches and tramples on voting rights.
The governor petitioned the Michigan Supreme Court to rule directly on these legal questions rather than waiting for the lower courts to rule on it first.
In an order issued this week the court said that it is still considering his request and asked Snyder to more fully explain why they should move the case from the trial court.
The court also asked both parties to file briefs on the questions raised in the case by Dec. 14.
John Philo, legal director for the Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice, which is representing the plaintiffs, said the high court should reject Snyder’s request to bypass the trial court and make an immediate decision in the case.
“Initial fact-finding and critical evidence occurs at the circuit court level,” said Philo. “This is why we have an established judicial system and for the governor to want to skip that process is troubling.”