Constitutionality challenge on MI emergency manager law heads to - WNEM TV 5

Constitutionality challenge on MI emergency manager law heads to federal appeals court

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An attempt to repeal the state's emergency financial manager law is now heading to the U.S. Court of Appeals.

A group of lawyers from Flint are challenging the constitutionality of the law, claiming it deprives residents of financially-strapped cities and towns the right to elect the officials who govern them.

The lawsuit also claims that emergency managers were directly responsible for switching the source of Flint's water supply and the ensuing water crisis.

"Because of the fact that citizens voting rights have been diluted and a city councilperson, a mayor can be elected, a school board member can be elected," said Herbert A. Sanders, Sanders Law Firm. "And the governor can say unilaterally I don’t like that person, I’m appointing someone else. That’s why we find ourselves in the circumstances that we're in in Flint."

The EFM law was repealed in 2012 after a state-wide vote, but re-enacted a month later by the Michigan legislature.

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