Michigan Supreme Court Keeps "Reform" Initiative Off Ballot:

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled 6-1 yesterday that the "Reform Michigan Government Now" initiative is ineligible to be on the ballot. According to the Court's majority, the initiative would make too many changes to the state constitution to be placed on the ballot as a single initiative. The Detroit News reports on the decision here.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Michigan Supreme Court Keeps "Reform" Initiative Off Ballot:
  2. Michigan Appeals Court Voids "Reform" Initiative:
  3. Rewriting a State Constitution for Partisan Advantage:
Frog Leg (mail):
This is not quite true. Only 3 members of the MSC ruled this way. The other 3 in the majority based their ruling on the fact that it would be impossible to condense into a 100 word summary, as required.

The opinion is here.
9.9.2008 3:44pm
Jim at FSU (mail):
In any case, they lose. So much for the rise of unionocratic government.
9.9.2008 3:46pm
Repeal 16-17 (mail):
Thanks for the link Frog Leg. An amendment of this magnitude should be dealt with at a constitutional convention, so the views of all Michiganders can be heard before the amendment goes on the ballot.
9.9.2008 3:58pm
Whoever thought that petitions and public votes for constitutional amendments were a good idea? Does anyone really think the general public deeply considers them before voting for them? Once they are on the ballot (pretty easily in most states), people vote for them if they like the policy suggested, not thinking of anything beyond that.

So we get absurdities like the 2002 Florida constitutional amendment regulating the treatment of pregnant pigs on pig farms. That was worthy of a constitutional amendment?
9.9.2008 4:11pm
Dave N (mail):
Between this and the resignation of Kweise Kilpatrick, good news for the Obama campaign in Michigan.
9.9.2008 4:50pm
BZ (mail):
I simply repeat my comments in the earlier thread on the Ct of Appeals decision: right result, bad reasoning. The lower court decision was a "know when I see it" opinion, offering no real guidance. Wouldn't want the Michigan Supremes to enshrine it with a simple affirmance.

As to the absurdity of the Florida initiative on pig crates, note that the initiative is intended to permit the people to enact matters which the Legislature could, but refuses to enact. Pig crate limits are no more absurd a form of legislation than other types of humane treatment legislation. The only reason they were put into the Florida Constitution is that Florida did not permit statutory initiatives (despite repeated calls for such by the Florida Supreme Court). The degree of complexity and specificity for such an initiative is determined by whether it is a principle, a civil matter or a criminal enactment; if the latter, it must be complex. (Disclosure: I worked on both the pig crate and the earlier gill net prohibitions.)
9.9.2008 6:55pm
karrde (mail) (www):
right result, bad reasoning...

I might agree, except for the three judges who noted that the changes to the State Constitution couldn't be described in 100 words or less.

If there is any good reasoning to be found in this, then it is the reasoning based on the word limit.
9.9.2008 9:16pm