Michigan Supreme Court hears arguments regarding Emergency Manag - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Michigan Supreme Court hears arguments regarding Emergency Manager Law

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(07/25/12) - It's the final step that would place the Emergency Manager Law, or Public Act 4, up for a vote by the people.

Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments from those who want a referendum on the November ballot - and those who oppose it.

The Supreme Court rarely hears cases in July, but agreed to hear this one because of its impact and meaning for city's like Flint, who have an Emergency Manager.

Oral arguments began just after 10 a.m. Each side got about 30 minutes to argue their points.

They already made theirs before the State Board of Canvassers and the Court of Appeals, but it's the highest court in Michigan that will ultimately decide whether the Emergency Manager Law will be put on the November ballot.

Stand Up for Democracy, the group in support of placing the question to voters, says their petition is in substantial compliance with state law.

Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility opposes the referendum, arguing the petition forms did not comply and were not in 14 point type.

In fact, the Michigan Court of Appeals found substantial compliance with respect to type size rules.

"If the legislature wanted to have a measurement in inches, rather than a 14 point font, then they could have amended the law at any time in the last 60 years," said Paul Jordan, of Flint.

This case comes down to font size and style, as trivial as it may sound , but Michigan law has certain requirements - and that's what the seven justices on the Supreme Court are charged with to decide.

Pastor Latrelle Holmes of Flint joined his fellow Michiganders in a peaceful protest - they're urging the Supreme Court to place the Emergency Manager law on the November Ballot.

"We are insisting Democracy be restored in Michigan," Holmes said.

"I thought we were seeing how the court works as it should, what they decide later, who knows, but that's what I saw," said David Galbraith, of Flint.

Inside the courtroom, Galbraith listened as both sides argued their case.

"I think the people of the state should vote on this," he said. "We should decide about the emergency manager and once we vote, however we vote it, that's how the law should be."

Justices have until mid-September to make a decision.

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