Michigan GOP Subverts State Constitution To Cause New Laws To Take Effect Immediately

You know all the bad shit the GOP-dominated legislature and the GOP governor have been forcing on the people of Michigan? According to the Michigan state constitution, those newly passed laws should not take effect until 90 days after the close of the legislative session in which they were passed. That’s what happens in Michigan to a law passed by a simple majority. (We won’t get into just how simple that GOP majority is for the moment.)

So what is the GOP doing? Simple: they’re ignoring the rule, declaring the law passed by the two-thirds majority required for immediate application, even though no such supermajority exists, and applying the law immediately. Right now. Bang the gavel; no waiting. Never mind the state constitution. Never mind the US Constitution’s requirement that every state have a republican (i.e., representative) form of government. The GOP says fuck you in the eye, Michiganders, we’re steamrolling this law right over you.

The Michigan GOP legislators have done this on over 500 laws to date. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow has the scoop, quite literally; it started as an MSNBC exclusive. The link is to the Maddow segment about this travesty of democracy. The segment is rather long, but I think everybody needs to see this, because you know it won’t stop with Michigan.

Maybe our failing democracy needs supervision by a team from some small third-world democracy where they know how to do it right…

(H/T Michael Moore.)

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Comments

  • MandT  On Friday April 6, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    It’s time for the increasingly incompetent Obama DOJ to investigate Michigan and its train wreck of blatant fascism.

    • Steve  On Friday April 6, 2012 at 3:48 pm

      MandT, I wouldn’t bet money on Holder’s ability to put his drawers on in the morning, let alone supervise an investigation into rampant and undisguised legislative impropriety. But it’s possible that the violation is a matter for Michigan courts to deal with, and if their judiciary is dominated by GOPers, it may be that there is literally no justice to be had.

      If you watched the video, you saw the short clip of the Michigan House in action, in which the Speaker accepted a motion for immediate effect, asked for a show of hands, and less than three seconds later (by my count) gaveled the motion as passed. The practice could hardly be more blatantly dishonest.

  • upyernoz  On Monday April 9, 2012 at 9:02 am

    holder doesn’t have to investigate michigan. if the legislature did not pass a law legally, that law is not valid. so anyone accused of violating any of those statutes is going to have a slam-dunk case challenging the applicability of the law.

    besides, i don’t think the DOJ has the authority to investigate state legislatures. there would be state sovereignty issues if they did.

    • Steve  On Monday April 9, 2012 at 9:38 am

      ‘noz, the thing that concerns me about that is that the Michigan judiciary has many Republican judges in it. Is there literally no redress if one of those judges rules, on a purely partisan basis, against videotaped evidence, that the laws were legally passed?

      After all, proving that there wasn’t a 2/3 majority is liable to be nearly impossible, if vote totals were not recorded: the evidence so far is that it took the speaker (GOP) only 3 seconds to “count” the alleged supermajority, while all Democrats (more than 1/3 of the House) swear they voted against these bills. It’s on videotape, but if a Republican judge has to determine the validity, I don’t believe we’ll see anything in the way of redress.

      If they don’t get satisfaction in the courts, maybe it’s time for Michiganders to resort to more extreme measures?

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