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Court of Claims judge rules Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority law stands

map of Line 5
Enbridge Energy

A Court of Claims judge ruled the law that created the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority is valid. The authority will oversee a controversial tunnel to house a new section of the aging Line 5 pipeline.

Line 5 carries crude oil and natural gas liquids under the Straits of Mackinac.

At the center of the dispute is a part of the law that says the members of the authority are to serve six-year terms. 

Both parties and the judge agreed that the six-year term limits are unconstitutional. But the plaintiffs argued that the whole section of law creating the board should be invalid as a result – including their agreement to build the new tunnel.

The judge disagreed. He says the members appointed by former Governor Rick Snyder can stay for four years without invalidating the rest of the law.


Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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