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So, I came home after teaching my Thursday night class and listened to Rachel Maddow's show, and according to Rachel: the Michigan Republicans are passing immediate effect laws (like the emergency manager laws) in an unconstitutional manner for that state. How so?

According to her reporting (I know, she's supposed to be Opinion right, but considering how terrible our actual reporters are, I'll listen), the Michigan Constitution requires a 2/3 majority for immediate effect, and a simple majority for laws to take effect within 90 days of the end of the session.

Ah, and lo and behold, here is the Michigan state constitution from 1963.

§ 27 Laws, effective date.
Sec. 27.

No act shall take effect until the expiration of 90 days from the end of the session at which it was passed, but the legislature may give immediate effect to acts by a two-thirds vote of the members elected to and serving in each house.

Well, according to Rachel, some 540+ bills were passed with immediate effect... without having a 2/3 majority. Apparently, the Michigan Democratic Party has sued in court to be allowed to vote.

Now, I'm stuck in one of the reddest of the red states, and I've only set foot in Michigan once or twice in my life... but I am completely confounded on how this could go on for a year, and no one in the media noticed that unconstitutional laws were being passed in Michigan. More after the squiggle.

What happens when there is a political party that is so antithetical to the United States government when they actually are in power?

They don't follow the rules.

It blows my mind. It really does.

I mean, I have known about Cognitive Dissonance for a long time, but I have never before seen it shrugged off with such abandon as now. Premise 1: The Republican Party are true Americans, and their political opponents are bad for America. Premise 2: Government is evil and must be reigned back; this results in attacking any new revenue stream, driving up the debt, and then declaring the state's obligations cannot be met because of all the social programs: Thus, Sabotage America's balance sheets.

This is all something that I get, because this is the same Republican Party that I've been used to despising and arguing against since Ronald Reagan.

But how do you argue with people who cannot even pass a law according to their own state constitution (the foundational document upon which all state laws rest)? Premise 1: We are passing laws that we expect everyone else to follow. Premise 2: The state constitution does not matter in how we pass laws.

It boggles the mind. I mean, sure, this will get to a Court at some time, but what happens when you run across a Conservative judge as incompetent as Antonin Scalia (the man believed the ACA contained the Cornhusker Kickback... sigh)

Is this the revolution that will be televised? I mean seriously... watch the Rachel video already cited, and check out the video of the 3 second vote count for immediate passage while the Democrats called for a roll call.

I've been involved with Student Government at two different universities. I've looked over state laws and pored over the logic of law to some extent.

But what do you do when your political opponents simply do not care anymore about the basic rules of legislative practice? We've been seeing it at the federal level with the filibuster every bill put forth in the US Senate... but damn.

We're dealing with nihilists.

6:42 AM PT:  From the comments section.... I'm adding Rob Lewis' summary of the video for those who may have issues with msnbc (?)

Why isn't this front-page news? (0+ / 0-)

Over 500 bills passed in a little over a year, all but 20 with what looks like illegal "immediate effect". As Rachel pointed out, the R's have 63(?) seats in the legislature but need 73(?) votes to get the 2/3 majority required for immediate effect. How likely is it that 10 D's are crossing the aisle hundreds of times to support ramming these radical laws through?

The video was amazing: the chair called for all those supporting a motion for immediate effect to stand, and approximately 3 seconds later gaveled the motion as passed. We're supposed to believe he counted 73 standing legislators (including 10 Democrats!) in 3 seconds.

Autocracy on top of autocracy: the bill that made it easier for the governor to nullify local elections and install unaccountable dictators to run cities and other agencies was likely passed illegally in this way.

Just stunning.

by RobLewis on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 05:58:07 AM PDT

9:01 AM PT: From the comments, Electablog has a similar diary with more detail and analysis. Just a snippet of Electablog's finish...

If you are a Democrat, a liberal, a progressive in Michigan and you can’t find something to motivate you get to the polls in November and to go out and make sure OTHERS get to the polls, then you need to start paying attention NOW. What Republicans are doing here is beyond egregious. It’s illegal. It’s undemocratic. And it’s unconstitutional.

Originally posted to ravagerofworlds2 on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 10:16 PM PDT.

Also republished by Youth Kos 2.0.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Our Man Eclectablog Has Weighed In (12+ / 0-)

    on the social media sites and blogs, I'm waiting for him to weigh in here, it should be a doozy.

    Let me remind the gentle reader that the Michigan Supreme Court is partisan, and 4 out of the 7 members are Republican.

    This should get really spicy really quickly.

  •  Autocratic Rule in Michigan (13+ / 0-)

    Rachel said basicly, it's a dictatorship.  It really was mind blowing, jaw dropping to see how blatent GOP disregard of constitutional law has become in Michigan.  Excellent journalism by RM's team.  I hope this news becomes more widely known and MI democrats can take this lawlessness to the federal courts and get the 500+ illegal laws overturned.  

    Elizabeth Warren 2016!

    by windwardguy46 on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 10:46:32 PM PDT

    •  If this nihilism is allowed to continue in the... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zenox, marina, luckylizard, Eric Nelson

      states our country will not stand.

      Republicans are obsessed with tearing down all political, economical and social order in America so they can bring to fruition their oligarchical vision of the future.

      That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history. ~ Aldous Huxley

      by markthshark on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 11:21:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the new breed of republican (0+ / 0-)

        the type is that primarying the Lugars of the world. I knew the Teahadists were crazy and demented... but I figured they would wise up, learn the culture, and the system would modify them through simple inertia. I never figured that their anti-government views would strike at the core of the systems they purport to want to rule.

        I mean, we saw an inkling of this with the Bush - Gore debacle when Republicans used intimidation in Broward county's recounts and culminated in the 5-4 selection of W over Al.

        Above Grecian mantles were chiseled these words... Know Thyself... Nothing in Excess... the pop philosophy of its day.

        by ravagerofworlds2 on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 06:33:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

      I was floored that this was something TRMS has been following for months and reported it... as news. Because it is.

      I'm all about Open Meetings laws, and following the rules because without doing so, there is no legitimacy in what is passed. Checks and balances, dotting the i-s, crossing the t-s. You know, doing it correctly. That's how we do things in a civil society, by adhering to the rules we have all agreed to.

      Above Grecian mantles were chiseled these words... Know Thyself... Nothing in Excess... the pop philosophy of its day.

      by ravagerofworlds2 on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 06:30:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Look at Egypt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zenox, marina

    This actually seems very similar to the emergency law enacted in Egypt.  Basically they passed a law during the 1967 Arab-Isreali war that gave the government (and military) carte blanche domestically.

    The initial emergency lasted 13 years (the 1967 Arab-Isreali war is often referred to as the Six-Day War) before lapsing for 18 months at which point the president was assassinated and the law reinstated.  It is still in place today.

    I'm struck by the irony of having one party rail against European style this and that while trying to transform the country into a third world theocracy or dictatorship.

    •  I think it comes down to Projection (0+ / 0-)

      Whatever is in their hearts, they project that same want and desire onto their political opponents. Since I made that hypothesis, it has really helped me understand the full horror and extant of our political opponents deepest held wishes and desires (death panels, FEMA concentration camps, etc.)

      Above Grecian mantles were chiseled these words... Know Thyself... Nothing in Excess... the pop philosophy of its day.

      by ravagerofworlds2 on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 06:36:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  U Mich and M State endorse 3 & 7 rush stations (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    that give cover to these anti-democratic efforts. and probably a few more RW stations that don't do limbaugh. (see link in sig)

    those stations are the backbone of local and state  GOP efforts

    and according to http://www.usatoday.com/...
    UMich didn't receive any revenue for this relationship in 2009 -10 and mich state got less than 1% of its athletics revenue from TV, radio, and internet broadcast rights.

    so that's 7- 10 radio stations (probably loud) radio stations in the state dedicated to doing ALEC type work for the GOP, help elect GOP politicians, and attack democracy 24/7, that piggyback the two main universities and probably couldn't do much without that parasitic relationship

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 03:46:31 AM PDT

  •  Look, we/they asked for it. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luckylizard, Sylv, killjoy

    I vote in MI 1. My neighbors--two unemployed, one retired and totally dependent on social security, and his daughter who is so far "underwater" she lives in fear of repo day to day--all voted Republican, mostly because of that big abortion poster on the main road. Now, the government never told a woman to get an abortion. And the day to day lives of my neighbors are forever harmed by their Republican votes.

    Yet Mark Brewer refused to ally the Dems with the last recall effort. I haven't seen a single simple flyer or ad explaining what's going on to my neighbors. Vile editorials come out of the local (allegedly neutral) paper where they refuse to put the word "President" in front of Obama's name.

    This is actually not such a conservative area; it's really libertarian and it would be relatively easy for a very good candidate to make that argument. In the light of the "war on women" and the age of this population, it would work. But no one is trying.

    I get emails from McDowell and have contributed, but so far there is no coherent message. Social security and medicare are the keys. Why so stupid?

    •  Thank you for helping me understand MI a bit more (0+ / 0-)

      Your comments are very welcome. I'm originally from Nebraska, and am doing graduate work in Oklahoma (I know, from the frying pan to the fire right?) I understand the rural midwest, and the people, and why they keep voting for the nihilists... but even in Oklahoma, the Republicans follow the rules for basic passage of laws.

      Above Grecian mantles were chiseled these words... Know Thyself... Nothing in Excess... the pop philosophy of its day.

      by ravagerofworlds2 on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 06:40:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nonsense (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lorla

      If Snyder and the Republicans had campaigned on the policies they passed, I doubt they would've won.  I don't think "Hey, we're going to raise taxes on the poor and seniors to pay for 1.8 billion in business tax cuts" would've gone over well.  That's why Republicans said very little during the campaign other than "We're not Obama/Granholm."    

      Unfortunately, Bernero was a poor candidate and had little to say himself.  There were 560,000 fewer votes in the 2010 governors race compared to 2006.  Snyder won not because he was beloved but because Dems stayed home.

      I have a feeling that most people who voted Republican expected Republicans to obey the laws/Constitution.  So to say this is what people asked for is a bit ridiculous.  I believe Dems will do well in November in part because voters are unhappy with the results of 2010.    

    •  My theory is (0+ / 0-)

      that a lot of people in perceived unsalvagable collective long term economic situations will vote to liquidate the situation.

      They may not realize it consciously.  Or they may, while pretending to others to care about the quality of life and continuation of the communities in which they live, not in fact care in the least.  Having a metaphysical cover to vote this way- like being "pro-life"- your critics can't quite refute is a good dodge to both yourself and them.

      That's about what I can figure for what is going on all over the Great Lakes as young people leave and regional industries need fewer workers.  

  •  But on the positive side (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alaprst, Sylv

    There is still a progressive radio station in Detroit (1310 am), fighting with half a dozen Rush stations that try to blank it out. The most powerful AM station is very far right though, and runs the ball game so everyone listens to it.

  •  Why isn't this front-page news? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    Over 500 bills passed in a little over a year, all but 20 with what looks like illegal "immediate effect". As Rachel pointed out, the R's have 63(?) seats in the legislature but need 73(?) votes to get the 2/3 majority required for immediate effect. How likely is it that 10 D's are crossing the aisle hundreds of times to support ramming these radical laws through?

    The video was amazing: the chair called for all those supporting a motion for immediate effect to stand, and approximately 3 seconds later gaveled the motion as passed. We're supposed to believe he counted 73 standing legislators (including 10 Democrats!) in 3 seconds.

    Autocracy on top of autocracy: the bill that made it easier for the governor to nullify local elections and install unaccountable dictators to run cities and other agencies was likely passed illegally in this way.

    Just stunning.

    What is valued is practiced. What is not valued is not practiced. -- Plato

    by RobLewis on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 05:58:07 AM PDT

  •  Anyone wondering what GOP rule would look like (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alaprst, Sylv

    on the national level need only look to Michigan.

    Wisconsin is bus-league ball in comparison.

  •  Technically, (0+ / 0-)

    you can't say the laws are unconstitutional only that they are being passed in a way that is unconstitutional. It's still bad just more accurate.

    •  which would make them inviolate (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sylv

      because of the immediate effect clause. Courts routinely void contracts for failure to comply with the law. I worked at Allstate once upon a time as a skip tracer, because we were required to "attempt to contact the policy holder in event of nonpayment." It was just me, with a mountain of policies where people usually moved and did not bother to tell us. I had maybe, 3 minutes per policy before they got sent to the shredding department.

      I did not like that job. I was often criticized for spending too much time per policy, doing too much digging. But I wanted to follow the intent of the law. Allstate just did not want to be sued for violating the rules.

      Above Grecian mantles were chiseled these words... Know Thyself... Nothing in Excess... the pop philosophy of its day.

      by ravagerofworlds2 on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 07:14:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Snyder (0+ / 0-)

    I don't understand why anyone thinks Snyder is less extreme than Walker, Scott, or any of the other Republican governors.  Just because Snyder says "I'm a bipartisan, moderate" doesn't mean he is.  Snyder always worried me more than Hoekstra, Cox, or Bouchard.  

    Hopefully the Dems can win back the House this fall.  

    •  But it's not just Snyder (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lorla

      It's the Republican party in the state of Michigan, including their leadership that is the focus of Rachel's reporting... how the body politic is ignoring the minority's roll call votes and declaring votes taken when they actually are not.

      Above Grecian mantles were chiseled these words... Know Thyself... Nothing in Excess... the pop philosophy of its day.

      by ravagerofworlds2 on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 08:58:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  But I agree on Snyder being as radical as Walker (0+ / 0-)

      Above Grecian mantles were chiseled these words... Know Thyself... Nothing in Excess... the pop philosophy of its day.

      by ravagerofworlds2 on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 08:59:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Mind boggling to say the least (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ravagerofworlds2

    I am in the city of Detroit. We have been battling against a consent decree, whuch is a PA4 in sheeps clothing.
    After months of the cities 40 some unions historically opening up their contracts and bargaining in good faith, offering 26 million in savings, the Governor said no good. He still wants the consent decree.
    For days, the citizens have been pleading with the city council to not pass it. I mean every single public comment except two, told them to vote no.
    We have five council members that voted yes, not listening to one word the citizens said, not one word council legal team offered and not one word that the four council members pointed out about all of the illegalities that were swirling around the process.
    They voted yes, even though the final draft, which included changes to PA7 and PA8, added back in at the last minute, even when council asked for that section to be removed, was handed to them literally miniutes before the vote. No review, no nothing.
    I was sickened and stunned.
    Now last night on Fox 2 local news? Snyder is immediately talking about selling the State Fair Ground for land development, and saying that the union contracts are about work rules, not just cost savings.
    Snyder is a bold faced liar, and all it takes is watching him for 5 minutes to see it.
    The UAW never really got behind the recall effort of Snyder, but now they are really pushing the petition drive to protect collective bargaining in the State Constitution. What is the legislature doing? Crafting law that does not allow petitions unless they are approved by a governor's panel. Outrageous.
    If you read any blog comments from most websites around the city, the people outside the city are happy to see the decree put in place. There is a general distain for people of color, and most say that the citizens of the city are to blame (89% black) for their living conditions.
    I could go on and on, but I can only urge this: The UAW is finally joining the fight. They have some decent organizing and some money. MoveOn and others are offering spring training for the 99% movement. This is happening now, in the next week or so. Look up a location near you, sign up and attend. Please do something. Not fighting back is unacceptable. Our own local leaders have turned on us. We citizens are being left to fight this ourselves. We must organize and let our voices be heard.

    •  I am sorry for the city of Detroit (0+ / 0-)

      Did the council do this to keep from being ousted by a General Manager? Are the local politics "Surburbia vs. Inner City" ?

      The UAW is greatly weakened from their place of significance since the 1970s. They've been picked apart, ravaged, and assaulted by corporate forces and their republican allies for decades. I truly hope the people of Michigan can put a stop to the tyranny, and take your state back.

      I urge you to write a diary on this very subject, and I'll do my best to get it recc'ed by everyone I know.

      Above Grecian mantles were chiseled these words... Know Thyself... Nothing in Excess... the pop philosophy of its day.

      by ravagerofworlds2 on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 10:57:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I find it difficult. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ravagerofworlds2

        It is very hard for me to contemplate putting together a diary, because it would have to contain so many inner connected things, it would never stop.
        Right now, I am so overwhelmed at the extent of attacks, lies, diversions to keep the average person ignorant so the power can continue to funnel every public tax dollar into their private pockets, that I have to breathe for a moment. I carry this anger, and I don't want to be blinded by it or not taken seriously because of it.
        The one thing I know is, each person that bothers to log onto sites like this must come together and act and educate some of the people that are going to suffer more and more under this national takeover and destruction of everything good about our country.
        I am going to the 99% training. We are all connected. We must exhibit this to the powers that be.
        The line that resounds with me most from President Obama's campaign: Nothing can stand in the way of millions of voices, calling for change.
        I'm sure we will be connecting again here, especially if you read the diaries about Michigan.

  •  I'm a Michigan voter (0+ / 0-)

    And I can't imagine how the state got so Republican. Yeah, there's a heavy catholic push in Northern Michigan. But most of those folks are also retired union members. Unemployment is so high, and the first thing Snyder does is cut it off.

    The northern Michigan area is essentially libertarian. The government tells them when they can shoot deer and (they think) looks at their guns. If the Dems would just catch that message, they might make some inroads.

    But I have to say that coming up with interesting candidates has been a challenge!

    •  as a resident of Oklahoma... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MsTribble

      ... I'm surrounded by Republicans. And the major reason? Low Information Voters. They live in a separate reality, mostly by listening to select media that only reinforces their ideological structure.

      Add in a lack of reading, a lack of travel, and falling educational achievements... and you have a recipe for the destruction of the body politic.

      Just like here in Oklahoma.

      Above Grecian mantles were chiseled these words... Know Thyself... Nothing in Excess... the pop philosophy of its day.

      by ravagerofworlds2 on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 08:49:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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