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Michigan Republicans Kill Petition Over “Font Size.” What’s Next, Whining about Kerning?

While most of the establishment media folks sleep or are busy demonizing Hilary Rosen for speaking the truth about Ann Romney, Michigan Republicans are destroying democracy in the Wolverine State:

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers today rejected a petition drive that would have put the state’s emergency manager law on the November ballot. The board’s staff had reported (pdf) that the petitioners had collected enough signatures, and recommended (pdf) that the board deny a challenge on the basis that the petition’s type size might be too small.

That challenge came from a project living inside the same Republican consulting firm with a partner on the board. Also on the four member board was a Democrat whose labor union had worked to collect signatures. In the end, the board voted two-two, on party lines, meaning the petitions were toast. They had been signed by more than 200,000 Michigan voters.

See also the video above.

As Hesiod points in the comments at Rachel Maddow’s blog: [cont’d.]


The statutory provision relied upon by the Republican Members of the State Board of Canvassers was MCL 168.482.

But, there is ample precedent in Michigan law that says what they did villated their duties under the law. A recent Michigan Court of Appeals decision — which is binding law in Michigan — stated:

“It is well established by both statute and case law that petitions need only substantially conform to the statutory requirements. MCL 168.544d (petitions shall be on forms that are “substantially as provided in sections 482 …”); see also Charter Twp of Bloomfield v Oakland Co Clerk, 253 Mich App 1, 22-23, 654 NW2d 610 (2002). In Newsome v Bd of State Canvassers, 69 Mich App 725, 729, 245 N.W.2d 374 (1976), this Court held that “[c]onstitutional and statutory initiative and referendum provisions should be liberally construed to effectuate their purposes, to facilitate rather than hamper the exercise by the people of these reserved rights.” Id., citing Kuhn v Dep’t of Treasury, 384 Mich 378, 183 NW2d 796 (1971). In Settles v Detroit City Clerk, 169 Mich App 797, 802-803, 427 NW2d 188 (1988), this Court reaffirmed the general rule that “all doubts as to technical deficiencies or failure to comply with the exact letter of procedural requirements in petitions … are resolved in favor of permitting the people to vote and express a choice on any proposal subject to election.” Thus, even if the additional language in the “ introduction” on the back of the petition could be considered a defect, we do not find it a fatal one.” — Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action & Integration v Bd of State Canvassers, 262 Mich App 395, 405-406; 686 NW2d 287 (2004) (Citation format amended).

The Courts will order the State Bd of Canvassers to approve the petition under this well-established case law.

Ah, but will Rick Snyder or one of his henchmen suddenly pull another Calvinball move and decide that the courts don’t matter here?

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