Democrats Win Redistricting Case, Appeal Expected
(Crystal A. Proxmire, The Ferndale 115 News, Feb. 15, 2012 ed)
According to a Press Release by L. Brooks Patterson, the Ingham County Circuit Court has ruled against Public Act 280 of 2011 which reduces the number of Oakland County commissioners to 21 from 25 and allows the elected commissioners to draw the new county commission districts. The Act was signed by Governor Snyder, but Oakland County Democrats quickly sued to stop it’s implementation.
“Today’s ruling by the liberal Ingham County Circuit Court is a Phyrric victory for the Democrats. Ingham County Circuit Court has a long record of ruling in favor of Democrats, only to be overturned by higher courts. This matter will be settled in the Michigan Supreme Court,” Patterson said.
Frank Houston, Chairman of the Oakland County Apportionment Commission is hopeful that an appeal will not be successful. “Despite an obvious GOP dominated Supreme Court, I think even they will see this unconstitutional act for what it is – an outrageous power grab by Brooks Patterson that is clearly illegal. Hopefully, Brooks and the Governor take their medicine and let go of these shameful political games,” Houston said.
Judge Collette’s decision states:
“PA 280 violates the Michigan Constitution, Article 4, Section 29’s prohibition on local acts, violates the Headlee Amendment’s prohibition on unfunded mandates, and violates MCL 46,406 by impinging on Oakland County voters’ rights to petition for judicial review of the reapportionment plan.”
Kevin Howley, who is the Democratic Candidate for Oakland County Executive facing Patterson in the 2012 election, responded to the ruling with a press release as well, stating “From the beginning of this charade, Brooks Patterson acknowledged that his motivations were partisan. He used taxpayer dollars to play his games and wasted lots of time and energy in the process. Then taxpayer dollars were wasted to defend his actions, which the court has now found to be unconstitutional. It’s time to move on and let this ruling stand. Taxpayers are not interested in funding a partisan agenda.”
To read more about the ongoing battle for control over representation in Oakland County, check out our previous articles: