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Federal judge upholds Michigan’s term limits amendment

10 former state lawmakers challenged the constitutional amendment in U.S. District Court
The Capitol building in Lansing, Michigan during the winter.
The Capitol building in Lansing, Michigan during the winter.(WILX)
Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 1:35 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Term limits will remain in place for Michigan lawmakers after a federal judge again upheld a 1992 state Constitution amendment.

U.S. District Judge Janet Neff of Grand Rapids dismissed a lawsuit this week from 10 former Democrat and Republican state legislators who challenged the ballot initiative petition and ballot language that voters approved in 1992.

Michigan allows state representatives to serve three two-year terms for a total of six years and state senators to serve two four-year terms for a total of eight years. Members can serve in both houses for a total of 14 years in the State Legislature.

Neff rejected the latest challenge to the law based on a previous court decision that prohibits future lawsuits and ruled that some of the plaintiff’s claims lacked merit. The 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld Michigan’s term limits in 1998.

“Michigan voters took action three decades ago to change our state constitution, and that amendment has now held up twice in a court of law,” said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

She said anyone who wants to change Michigan’s term limits will have to seek another amendment to the Michigan Constitution through the citizen initiative process or a statewide ballot question.

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