Bloomberg News

Michigan Court Orders Union Rights Amendment on Ballot

September 05, 2012

The Michigan Supreme Court ordered that a proposal to make collective bargaining a constitutional right be placed on the ballot in the November election.

Opponents sought to have the proposed amendment to the state constitution barred from consideration by Michigan voters, contending it conflicts with other provisions of the Constitution including the Legislature’s right to enact laws governing the resolution of disputes concerning public employees.

The court today said it saw no conflict between the proposed amendment and the existing constitution, and ruled that proponents of the measure had collected enough signatures to put it to a vote.

“The Legislature may still enact the laws provided for” in the sections of the constitution cited by opponents, the court said. “But should the amendment pass, the power to do so could be limited by collective-bargaining agreements.”

The state’s high court also ordered onto the ballot a proposed amendment that would require a statewide majority vote, or a two-thirds vote of both houses of the Legislature, to raise taxes or enact a new tax.

The court also approved for referendum a proposal to require a popular vote before any international bridge could be built between Michigan and Canada.

The court rejected a fourth measure, which sought an amendment to allow the construction of eight new casinos in the state.

The collective bargaining case is Protect Our Jobs v. Board of State Canvassers, 145748, Michigan Supreme Court (Lansing).

To contact the reporter on this story: Margaret Cronin Fisk in Detroit at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at

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