It’s now up to the state Supreme Court to decide whether the referendum to challenge Michigan’s emergency manager law will appear on the November ballot. The court spent 90 minutes today listening to arguments on whether a dispute over type size is enough to keep the question off the ballot.
The business-backed group Michigan Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility is trying to knock the referendum off the ballot. Attorney John Pirich says it’s not enough to trust that a computer program used by petition printers is accurately measuring type size.
“Everyone knows what a computer can do. I can make letters get scrunched. I can make letters get elongated. They say 12-, 14-, or six-point font, whatever it might say, but that can be manipulated.”
The referendum campaign says it complied with every aspect of the law. But it says, regardless, a technicality should not keep the question from voters.
“Do we make it difficult – as they have proposed – for people to redress their government through the petition process? Or do we uphold the constitutional rights of the citizens of this state, and allow them access to the ballot? That’s what this case is about,” says Herb Sanders, the attorney for Stand Up for Democracy.
The group says the will of more than 200,000 petition signers should not be ignored.
There was also an argument before the court about whether a state elections board can be ordered to put a question on the ballot.