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NAACP files lawsuit against emergency manager law


Michigan's controversial law that allows the state to take over the finances of cash-strapped cities is the subject of yet another lawsuit.

The Detroit branch of the NAACP filed the lawsuit in federal court today. It claims the state's emergency manager law is unconstitutional.

“It's fundamentally about our right to vote, and our right, as constitutionally guaranteed, to select and elect our own publicly elected officials,” said Detroit branch President Rev. Wendell Anthony.

The suit also claims the state applies the law selectively to communities of color, since white communities in similar states of financial distress have avoided emergency managers.

“Too many people have died for this cause,” attorney Nabih Ayad said of voting. “And for them to go backwards now on this issue, it's unbelievable. It's deplorable.”

A similar lawsuit was filed by a public sector union and residents of Detroit, Flint and Benton Harbor earlier this year.

Sarah Hulett is Michigan Public's Director of Amplify & Longform, helping reporters to do their best work.