Inside and outside of Oakland

Fate of Oakland County commission districts rests with Michigan Supreme Court

  To many, the Michigan Supreme Court is seven unknown shadowy figures in dark robes and Darth Vader masks, wielding nearly unlimited authority over Michigan's political and legal empire.
  The state's high court does indeed have a lot of clout, but they're only shadowy because few people have arguments that make it up the legal ladder that far.

  New political boundaries for the Oakland County Board of Commissioners is one of those arguments.
  Republicans and Democrats are waiting on a decision from the high court on Public Act 280 of 2011, which would allow Oakland County's commission to be reduced from 25 to 21 commissioners and for the current commission to draw new districts for this year's election.
  By way of background, an Ingham County circuit judge ruled the law unconstitutional — a victory for Democrats, but the Michigan Court of Appeals issued a split ruling that would allow new commission districts to be drawn but not until after the next U.S. Census in 2020.
  Now the issue is before Michigan Supreme Court justices Michael F. Cavanagh, Robert P. Young, Marilyn Kelly, Mary Beth Kelly, Steven J. Markman, Diane Marie Hathaway and Brian K. Zahra.
  A decision is expected before the end of the week so local clerks and candidates can get on with the business of setting up elections and running for office.
  What the high court will decide is anybody's guess.
  Some say The Force is with Democrats' position that the law is unconstitutional with tons of legal merit, but that their arguments have no weight before the Republican-leaning court.
  Stay tuned.

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