Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Democracy Wins in Flint

Finally, some good news to report on Michigan’s “emergency manager” (as in sweeping dictatorial answer-to-no-one) law: a judge has ruled that the law violates the state’s open meeting laws, not to mention the democratic sensibilities of just about anyone to the moderate side of Benito Mussolini.

A Michigan judge on Tuesday restored power to Flint’s mayor and City Council, the latest legal setback for Gov. Rick Snyder and a state law giving state-appointed emergency managers sweeping powers to help struggling cities and schools fix their finances.

The order from Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina says a state review team violated the state’s Open Meetings Act during the process that led to a state-appointed emergency manager in Flint. It’s a case that likely will be monitored in other places where the state has emergency managers, including the cities of Benton Harbor and Pontiac.

The move came the same day another judge in the same county temporarily blocked a potential agreement between the state and cash-strapped Detroit over the same concerns about potential Open Meetings Act violations.

Gov. Snyder is one of those “smaller government, more freedom” types, so the irony is hardly understated when he is the proponent of “emergency powers” that basically overturns democratically elected officials and appoints someone with absolute power in their place… until some mean old activist judge comes in puts an end to all the fun. How dare they? Don’t they know who they’re dealing with?

Yeah; it’s called the “rule of law.” Look it up sometime.

HT to Charlie Pierce.