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