Michigan Supreme Court OKs Proposal P to Appear on Tuesday Ballot

The Michigan Supreme Court on Thursday granted a Detroit city charter proposal revision to appear on the Aug. 3 ballot, which overturned the lower courts ruling on the issue, The Detroit News reported.

The proposal is a revised Detroit city charter, which if it passes, would replace the current charter and will address many resident-based concerns surrounding issues like broadband access, greater municipal oversight, reparations, water affordability and more.

A “yes” vote would also mean that the city’s current charter would, in essence, now be a 145-page revised charter written by the Detroit Charter Revision Commission, per city documents.

A vote against the adoption of a revised city charter allows the city’s current charter to remain in place.

Residents will now be voting on the draft charter rejected by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer because of issues her office discovered in a review mandated by state law. Whitmer rejected the proposed revised City of Detroit Charter in May and said the document needs a review by the Attorney General’s (AG) office, according to reports. The AG review showed the current city charter draft had numerous and extensive legal problems.

Justices ruled in a 4-3 order on Thursday, according to the article, that the law governing charter amendments has to allow local control over city charters — a home rule control provision.

Justice Elizabeth Welch, who agreed with the majority, said in a statement that Whitmer should not be allowed “such unfettered power to prevent the electorate of a city from every having an opportunity to vote on a proposed change to their city’s charter.”

“Such an interpretation would allow an individual to effectively disenfranchise the political voice and the vote of large portions of the Michigan electorate on matters of local concern, over which the state constitution guarantees them a right to be heard,” Welch wrote in a statement along with Justice Richard Bernstein, according to the article.

Whitmer and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, among others including former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer, that adopting the charter provisions would put the city into bankruptcy, according to the article.

Duggan declined to comment Thursday following the ruling, the article added.

“Prop P is really answering a question about equity in the city of Detroit,” said Erada Oleita, the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition Detroit Organizer in the article. “What does basic human rights look like? It’s the right to move, the right to have water, food, access to resources.”

Read the full story here.

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