Snyder, Schuette: No Right For Local Voters to Choose Their Leaders

Federal appeals court could hear oral arguments over Michigan’s emergency manager law later this year.

Voters don’t have a constitutional right to choose their local government leaders. That’s a central argument used by lawyers for state Attorney General Bill Schuette and Gov. Rick Snyder as they defend the state’s emergency manager law against a federal lawsuit.

The state’s response to the lawsuit was filed earlier this month. The lawsuit says the statute that allowed the state takeover of cities like Detroit and Flint violates the rights of local voters. And that it discriminates based on race and on wealth.

The state is asking the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to toss the lawsuit because the U.S. Constitution guarantees voters’ rights to elect their state officials — but, they argue, it doesn’t offer the same promises when it comes to local governments.

Both sides are waiting to hear if the federal appeals court will call them in for oral arguments later this year.