COA tackles a flawed presidential primary law

The Michigan Court of Appeals today will try to straighten out the legislatively created mess of Michigan’s perhaps-Jan. 15 presidential primary.

Ingham County Circuit Court Judge William Collette struck down the primary law last week, ruling that it gives the Michigan Democratic and Republican parties an unconstitutional freebee. The political operatives get exclusive access to information about those who would participate in the primary, and, don’t have to pay one red cent for it.

In an order released yesterday, the COA has ordered all interested parties to file briefs by 10:00 a.m. this morning. Oral arguments are scheduled for 1:30 p.m. before Chief Judge William Whitbeck, and Judges Patrick Meter and Donald Owens in the Hall of Justice in Lansing.

The court also has ordered Secretary of State Terry Lynn Land to file and serve affidavits by 5 p.m. today on participating party organizations – Democratic Chair Mark Brewer and Michigan Republican Chair Saul Anuzis – that describe whether their respective parties will use some other method than the primary results to select delegates for their national conventions.

If neither party will use the primary results, under MCL 168.613a, the primary must be canceled. Interestingly, under the statute, the Secretary of State, by 4 p.m. Nov. 15

shall determine, based upon the information provided by the participating political parties under this subsection, whether the participating political parties in this state will be using a method other than the results of the January 15, 2008 presidential primary to select delegates to their respective national conventions to nominate a candidate for president of the United States in 2008.

The Michigan Information & Research Service is reporting that Democratic Chair Mark Brewer yesterday, as the statute requires, told the Secretary of State his party will use the primary results if Judge Collette’s ruling is overturned and the Republicans agree to use the primary results.

This is a sorry state of affairs, for which the blame should fall squarely on the shoulders of the partisan and elected nincompoops who brought the flawed primary law into being with a built-in political boondoggle.

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