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State Legislature gears up to go around Nessel for opinion on “adopt and amend” strategy

Michigan Supreme Court
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Michigan Supreme Court Building

State lawmakers want to go to the Michigan Supreme Court to find out if something they did in their last session is legal.

Attorney General Dana Nessel is considering a request for a formal opinion. Some Democratic lawmakers want to know whether the Republican-led Legislature’s adopt and amend tactic used last year is okay. Lawmakers adopted two ballot proposals – and then made major changes to them – instead of letting voters decide.

Representative Triston Cole (R-Mancelona) introduced a measure to ask the state Supreme Court for its opinion.

“By moving this resolution and skipping over this process that could take lots of money and lots of time, let’s just go straight to the source where it will ultimately end up – which is the supreme court,” he said.

Democrats in the state House say they welcome the Supreme Court’s input and have no doubt the court will rule the move was unconstitutional.

The state Senate also plans to introduce and vote on a similar measure Wednesday.

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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