Lawsuit is appealed to get rid of Emergency Manager

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FLINT (WJRT) - (03/14/16) - Michigan's emergency manager law is once again coming into question. Monday, lawyers announced they've filed an appeal to a federal lawsuit.

Those behind the appeal say it's clear an emergency manager directly lead to Flint's water emergency. The city's emergency manager did decide to switch to the Flint River as a water source. Which is why now, a legal team has appealed to overturn the emergency manager law in Michigan, before they say it leads to another disaster.

"Nowhere in Michigan did we have emergency law manager that things have came out better,” said Bishop Bernadette Jefferson, a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

"All we have left is the courts and the streets,” said Claire McClinton, another plaintiff.

Those two plaintiffs are from the original lawsuit against the emergency manager law, which was shut down by a federal court in 2013.

This time, civil rights attorneys and community activists are on board with lawyers, to try again. The legal team is focusing on what they say are two big examples of the emergency manager law failing - Flint's water emergency and Detroit's public school crisis.

Lawyers say taking away the power of elected officials and replacing them with an emergency manager violates constitutional rights. They say it’s also discriminatory.

"The law we're challenging has been used to replace elected officials almost exclusively in communities of color,” said Vince Warren, with the Center for Constitutional Rights.

"Who has bared the burden of this experiment in undemocratic government? We cannot get away from the fact that race and class are intimately involved,” said John Philo, with the Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice.

The appeal was filed last week.

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