Two recently approved, Democrat-backed constitutional amendments overhauling Michigan’s elections violate the state and U.S. Constitutions, a lawsuit filed on Thursday claims.
Brought in federal court by 11 Michigan state legislators against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, and the director of Michigan’s Bureau of Elections, the lawsuit contends that two constitutional ballot amendments approved by voters — one in 2018 and the other in 2022 — violate the elections clause of the U.S. Constitution, which stipulates that the “Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof.”
In the suit, the plaintiffs argue that since both amendments alter the state’s election laws and were passed via the ballot amendment process, the changes they made to the Michigan electoral system are invalid because the U.S. Constitution provides the power to implement those changes with the state legislature. The legislators further contend that the Michigan Constitution “vests the legislative power in the state senate members and house of representatives members, including the right to regulate the times, places, and manner of federal elections.”
“When state constitutional amendments, which affect the times, places, and manner of federal elections, are enacted by petition-and-state-ballot-proposals, as occurred in 2018 and 2022, the constitutional amendments and process of enactment violate the legislators’ federal rights under the Elections Clause,” the lawsuit reads.
While legacy media have portrayed these amendments as a win for so-called “voting rights,” the true intent behind the proposals is to implement Democrats’ unsecure and chaotic voting policies. The 2018 initiative known as Prop 3 added several leftist-backed election practices to the Michigan Constitution, including automatic and same-day voter registration and no-excuse absentee voting “during the 40 days before an election.”
Meanwhile, Prop 2 added policies such as “state-funded ‘absentee ballot drop boxes’ and ‘postage for applications and ballots,’” as well as allowances for private “donations to fund elections,” such as the “Zuckbucks” that were used to alter operations in local government election offices during the 2020 election. The measure also guaranteed voters a “‘right’ to fill out a single absentee ballot application ‘to vote absentee in all [future] elections.'”
Both amendments were backed by Promote the Vote, a coalition launched in 2018 by left-wing groups such as the League of Women Voters of Michigan, ACLU of Michigan, and NAACP Michigan State Conference.
During Thursday’s virtual press conference announcing the lawsuit, Michigan legislators highlighted the vast amounts of out-of-state money poured into Michigan by left-wing organizations ahead of the 2022 midterms to convince voters Prop 2 would better the state’s election system. According to Ballotpedia, this list of financers includes leftist groups such as the Sixteen Thirty Fund and the George Soros-backed Open Society Foundation, which contributed $11.3 million and $1.2 million, respectively.
“Michigan state election officials committed horrible violations of state legislators’ federal rights in 2018 and 2022, and continue to do so,” Erick Kaardal, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, said. “The election officials enabled these … unauthorized amendments to the state constitution to eviscerate the state legislators’ federal rights to participate in law-making to determine the times, places, and manner of federal elections.”
The plaintiffs have asked the court to issue an injunction barring the enforcement of the aforementioned ballot amendments, as well as a declaration stipulating that the constitutional ballot proposals “to enact constitutional amendments to the Michigan Constitution” and Defendants’ enforcement of the “amendments governing federal elections” are “unconstitutional, violate the legislators’ federal rights, and violate established laws.”