Court of Appeals orders that ballot proposal on casinos be rejected

by Cynthia Price (note) and from the Michigan Court of Appeals

Note: The following order concerns a ballot question where Citizens for More Michigan Jobs (CFMMJ) collected more than 500,000 petition signatures in order to place a constitutional amendment proposal on the ballot.  The CFMMJ proposal would amend the Michigan Constitution and expand casino gaming throughout the state, allowing a fourth casino in Detroit and seven other casinos at other specific locations.  The Court of Appeals opinion says, “The CFMMJ proposal addresses subjects related to casino gaming that are presently governed by the Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act (the Gaming Act), MCL 432.201 et seq., which was enacted by voter initiative in 1996. In some respects, the CFMMJ proposal directly contradicts provisions of the Gaming Act, and CFMMJ admits that its proposal would limit, suspend, or invalidate portions of the Gaming Act.” Protect MI Constitution (PMC) opposes the CFMMJ proposal, and petitioned to bring the case before the COA, claiming that the proposal would amend the Gaming Act without following constitutional procedures for amending a voter-initiated law, or constitutional procedures in art 4, § 24 and § 25, requiring a title and republication of the statute to alter, revise, or amend an existing law.

To see the opinion, visit http://coa.courts.mi.gov/documents/opinions/final/coa/20120814_c311504_40_311504.opn.pdf,  and go to http://coa.courts.mi.gov/documents/opinions/final/coa/20120814_c311504_41_311504p.opn.pdf for a partial concurrence, partial dissent by Judge Krause.

August 14, 2012
Court of Appeals, State of Michigan
Donald S. Owens, Presiding Judge
Peter D. O’Connell, Amy Romayne Krause, Judges
Protect MI Constitution V Secretary of State
Docket N0. 311504

The Court orders that the relief sought in the complaint for a writ of mandamus is  GRANTED. Michigan United Conservation Clubs v Secretary of State (After Rernand), 454 Mich 359,  365-3 66; 630 NW2d 297 (2001). Intervening defendant Citizens for More Michigan Jobs (CFMMJ) has  submitted a petition for a proposed amendment to Const 1963, art 4, § 41 to be placed on the November  2012 general election ballot. Const 1963, art 4, § 25 provides that a law may not be revised, altered, or  amended without a republishing of the affected statutory language. Because the proposed constitutional  amendment would revise and alter the Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act, MCL 432.201 et  seq., art 4, § 25 applies to the CFMMJ petition. The petition does not republish the statutory language  and therefore does not satisfy the constitutional prerequisite for acceptance. The Secretary is  ORDERED and DIRECTED to stop the canvass, to reject the CFMMJ petition, and not to allow the  proposal to be placed on the ballot. Leininger v Secretary of State, 316 Mich 644; 26 NW2d 348 (l947);  Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution v Secretary of State, 280 Mich App 273; 761 NW2d 210, in part 482 Mich 960 (2008).

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