The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled that a proposed ballot initiative that would expand the number of casinos in the state, and also change the law on casino taxes, is unconstitutional. According to reports by MLive and other media outlets, the Court of Appeals made the ruling Tuesday, which was first announced by Michigan Solicitor General John Bursch on his Twitter account that morning.
The ruling by the Court of Appeals now means that the proposal cannot be placed before voters in November. Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson has been "ordered and directed" to reject the original petition and keep the issue off the ballot, per the order issued by the court Tuesday morning.
Here is some of the key information to emerge from the Court of Appeals ruling and its aftermath.
* The decision by the Court of Appeals follows Monday's ruling by the state's Elections Bureau that supporters of the initiative had collected enough valid signatures on their petitions to earn a spot on the November ballot,according to the Detroit News.
* The proposed amendment to Michigan's constitution, which was being promoted by the group Citizens for More Michigan Jobs, was declared unconstitutional by virtue of the court's ruling that in such matters, if a ballot proposal is going to significantly alter a law, the writers must detail all the ways the law would be changed.
* One of the attorneys for Citizens for More Michigan Jobs, Graham Crabtree, told the Detroit News and other media outlets on Tuesday that the group would likely seek a definitive decision from the Michigan Supreme Court on the matter.
* The ballot proposal is being challenged by the group Protect MI Vote, which has maintained that the initiative would "improperly make amendments to the voter-initiated Gaming Control & Revenue Act and would bypass the Liquor Control Act," according to a report in the Detroit Free Press.
* John Truscott, a spokesman for Protect MI Vote, told the media on Tuesday that the court "supported our contention that this was very poorly drafted, it is not constitutional, and there is no way the voters can figure out what they are voting on," as quoted by the Detroit Free Press.
* Protect MI Vote is made up of a coalition of current casino owners and private citizens who oppose the initiative's aim of establishing eight more casinos in Michigan, according to the Detroit Free Press report. Citizens for More Michigan Jobs is primarily made up of business owners and supporters who are looking to establish those new casinos.
Vanessa Evans is a musician and freelance writer based in Michigan, with a lifelong interest in politics and public issues.
- Politics & Government
- Michigan Court of Appeals
- Court of Appeals
- Michigan Supreme Court