Before you watch the two videos below, read THIS from the Detroit News.
The question of Michigan House Republicans’ illegal passage of hundreds of bills will likely be decided by the courts, but in the meantime, this story is about to go national. At issue is the Republicans use of the immediate effect provision of the state constitution. This is related to the lawsuit filed by Michigan House Democrats which resulted in a court injunction requiring the majority House Republicans to honor House Democrats requests for roll call votes. A request that has been repeatedly ignored by the Republicans since they took over the statehouse in 2010.
The story has been the big buzz on Twitter all day, after Rachel Maddow’s segment on it last night… Ironically, the case centers on modification made decades ago to the state constitution under a task force that was headed by George Romney before he became governor.
The modifications set out a timetable for when laws passed by the legislature could take effect. It purposely established a lenghty waiting period, except for emergencies. There is an immediate effect clause in the constitution that allows the waiting period to be waived and this is where it gets interesting. The immediate effect clause can only be triggered with a 2/3 majority vote. While Republicans do have a bare majority, they do not hold 2/3 of the House, yet they have passed 546 out of 566 bills using the immediate effect clause. They accomplished this by claiming a 2/3 majority but apparently never allowing a roll call prove they actually had the required number of votes to back up that claim.
OK, now check out Maddow’s report on this matter (which requires two video clips):