The operators of casinos in Detroit, and on tribal reservations, were at the Michigan Court of Appeals Monday trying to keep a question off the statewide November ballot that would allow eight rival casinos to open in locations all over the state.
The measure would amend the state constitution, but opponents say they’ve found a technical glitch. They say the proposal would not only amend the state constitution, but also re-write voter approved gaming regulations, and a ballot proposal can’t do both.
“Well what we hope happens is that we hope the court concludes it does not meet the constitutional requirements and can’t go on the ballot,” says Peter Ellsworth, an attorney arguing against the casino expansion proposal. “It’s misleading to the voters.”
“Let them decide in November,” counters Emily Gerkin Palsrok, of the expansion campaign. She says the campaign followed all the rules when it drafted the amendment.
“Our language is very clear. We think that the court will uphold it,” she says.
The court is expected to act quickly to give elections officials enough time to finalize the November statewide ballot. Whatever the court of appeals decides, the loser could take the case to the state Supreme Court.