91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

State Supreme Court will hear case challenging appeal of petition drive law

person signing a petition while another holds a clipboard
Adobe Stock

The Michigan Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether a law that makes it more difficult for petition drives to qualify for the ballot is constitutional.

The lawsuit challenges an official opinion from state Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat.

 The Legislature changed the law to make it harder for petition drives to succeed.

For example, one of the new rules said no more than 15% of a petition drive’s signatures can come from any one congressional district.

Nessel’s opinion says the law is too complicated and difficult to comply with, and that it interferes with the right of citizens to enact laws when the Legislature won’t. The Michigan Court of Appeals agreed.

Republicans are challenging that ruling, and the Supreme Court says it’s ready to hear arguments on the law.

The law was adopted by the Republican-controlled Legislature late in 2018 and signed by then-Governor Rick Snyder.

That was after voters approved three petition initiatives on marijuana, redistricting, and voting rights.

Want to support reporting like this? Consider making a gift to Michigan Radio today.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
Related Content