My, my. THIS is interesting.
As Meteor Blades wrote recently, Michigan Congressman John Conyers has asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to look into Michigan's new Emergency Manager Law, PA 4. He mentioned that Conyers is asking for the investigation because "Conyers wants to know whether the law violates the Constitution's Contract Clause (Article 1, Section 10) by allowing an emergency manager to end collective bargaining rights and whether it violates Article 4, Section 4 on the requirement that states have a republican form of government." However, what Meteor Blades did not mention was that Conyers also believes the way the law is being applied is a violation of the Voting Rights Act. As I have written recently, if Inkster and Detroit get Emergency Managers, and it seem clear they will, over 50% of Michigan African Americans will be without representative government at the local level.
Well, it turns out that Holder is already looking into it.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is reviewing whether the state of Michigan can legally appoint an emergency manager to oversee the Motor City's finances, Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit, said late today.
Conyers said he spoke to Holder about his request that the government move to block the law.
"(Holder) said, 'I've got my lawyers working on it right now,' " Conyers said, adding he spoke to the attorney general about 4 p.m. today. "He's trying to find out if my allegations of great constitutional concerns are valid. That's what he's got several hundred lawyers for."
This could conceivably be the biggest news yet with regard to Michigan's anti-democratic, disenfranchising Emergency Manager. If the US Attorney General goes after the Snyder administration and Michigan Republicans, in general, it will have two perfectly devastating effects.
First, it will paralyze, stun and generally freakout Michigan Republicans. Most of our state Republicans are novices and will have not the slightest idea whatsoever how to deal with the federal government getting all up in their grill.
Second, it will galvanize the Obama campaign in Michigan. Even the most lefty liberals who have held President Obama in disdain will be thrilled to see the Obama administration pushing back against Republicans right here in our state.
Drawing national attention to this egregious overreach by Republicans in Michigan may be the biggest impact of this investigation, however. This bears repeating: If Detroit and Inkster are assigned Emergency Managers, over half of the African Americans in Michigan will be stripped of their right to representative government. This should be making headlines across the country. So far, with the exception of the Maddow Blog, even our left-leaning political pundits have not even mentioned it. Not Keith. Not Ed. Not Thom. Not Steffanie. None of our liberal political media allies and, of course, none of our failing local media. It's a headline that should be ricocheting across the country and not one mainstream media source has yet broadcast it.
Perhaps that will change if Holder and his staff investigate.
One more thing: the newly appointed Emergency Manager in Flint has gotten off to a rock-and-roll start. His first act as Emergency Manager violates the Flint City Charter and fires the mayor and City Council.
Buried in the lede of the news about Flint Emergency Manager Michael Brown firing seven staffers and essentially firing the the Mayor and City Council, as well, is this little tidbit:
In his first orders as emergency manager, Michael Brown on Friday fired seven City Hall staffers — including the mayor’s second-in-command — and eliminated pay and benefits for the mayor and Flint City Council. [...]
Although the roles of the city ombudsman and Civil Service Commission are mandated by the Flint City Charter, Brown’s order removing Purifoy and Parker cited state law that says an emergency manager can remove any local government appointee.
In other words, his first act as Emergency Manager violated the City Charter. But, hey, that's okay. 'Cause he's allowed to do that. In the worldview of those that support the use of undemocratic, disenfranchising Emergency Managers, it's completely acceptable to take away representative government from poor people and to break the laws of their city as long as the governor appoints you as the
Czar Chancellor Emergency Manager.
You'll note that I said that he was "essentially firing the Mayor and City Council". This is 100% true. He cancelled all future City Council meetings until further notice, eliminated their benefits and stopped paying them. That's firing the city government, no matter how you slice it.
Cross-posted from Eclectablog.