Dispute Over Emergency Managers Hits Supreme Court

LANSING (WWJ/AP) – A group that supports Michigan’s emergency manager law is asking the state Supreme Court to keep a referendum off the ballot.

Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility filed a request Friday. It asks the justices to overturn an appeals court ruling that would suspend the law and allow voters to decide if they want to keep it.

The opposing group, Stand Up for Democracy, collected 203,238 valid voter signatures, about 40,000 more than needed to get the issue on the ballot.

The appeals court said the question could go to voters, despite a defect with petitions used to gather signatures.  That defect, a reported problem with the font size, has itself been in dispute.

It was not immediately known when or if the Supreme Court will take the case.

The 2011  emergency manager law allows the governor to appoint emergency managers over financially stressed cities and school districts. Managers have authority to cut spending, sell assets and tear up contracts.

Critics say the law is an unconstitutional  an assault on democracy because elected officials are left powerless.

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(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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