COA: County commission reduction law is unconstitutional

Oakland County will not have to shrink the size of its county commission to comply with legislation that would not affect any other county in the state.

Public Act 280, which requires counties to have no more than 21 county commissioners, is unconstitutional in part, the Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled in a split decision.

Under the legislation, counties had to be in compliance on the law’s effective date. Counties not in compliance were required to reapportion their commissioner districts within 30 days

The COA majority said the legislation was targeted to affect only Oakland County — no other county in the state would lose commissioners under the law. As such, the Legislature enacted an unconstitutional local act.

Under the state constitution, the Legislature cannot enact a local act unless two-thirds of each legislative house and a majority of electors in the affected district approve.

The COA majority, Judge Michael Kelly, joined by Judge Ronayne Krause, ruled that the portion of the act requiring redistricting within 30 days was unconstitutional and should be severed from the act.

Dissenting Judge Patrick Meter would have upheld the entire act as constitutional.

The case is Houston, et al. v. Governor, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 07-77884 – 14 pages) (majority opinion) (concurring/dissenting opinion)

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s