LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) - The State Supreme Court must decide whether or not the petitions used to invalidate the emergency manager law are valid.
In a packed court house, both sides of the issue argued their case to the high court this morning. The focus of the debate centers on the font size used on petitions circulated to repeal the law,
Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility, which wants to do keep the emergency manager law in place, told the justices that state law specifically requires 14 point type be used in petition headings. Their lawyer John Pirich argued that there should be no exceptions. Pirich said it is about the state legislature and the standard it set.
The organization known as Stand Up for Democracy spent months collecting more than 203,000 signatures to place the future of Public Act 4, the emergency manager law, before the voters on the November ballot. Their lawyer argued that their petition used the right type size, but that today’s computers may have made the petition print a little smaller.
They say, more importantly, for at least the past decade, the standard has been that as long as long as you can read and understand the heading, the petition is valid. They also say their challenge of the emergency manager law should not be stopped by an antiquated law that doesn’t take new print technology into account..
Attorney Butch Hollowell, who represents Stand Up for Democracy, says this whole issue is about ensuring people have access to ballot.
It is not clear when the Supreme Court will decide the case. But the ballot language must be finalized by Sept. 7, in order to be placed on the November ballot.
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