A state appeals court judge has ruled there was no violation of Michigan’s open meetings act when the state Capitol was closed while the Legislature debated and voted on a right-to-work law. Judge Deborah Servitto dismissed the lawsuit without allowing the case to go to trial.
Democratic lawmakers and union activists filed the challenge. They wanted the law thrown out because two years ago, Republican leaders and the State Police ordered the doors to the Capitol locked as the Legislature debated and voted on the controversial legislation.
Republicans say it was a safety issue. Democrats say it was to keep out demonstrators.
Servitto judge said people already in the building were not thrown out, and the public was still able to follow the proceedings online.
Gideon D’Assandro is the state House Republican spokesman.
“We were confident that once the facts were made clear, the court would agree with us that we complied with the letter and the spirit of the open meetings and that everything would be upheld.”
Republican leaders called the lawsuit a waste of time and money.
State Representative Brandon Dillon (D-Grand Rapids) is one of the lawmakers who sued.
“We felt it was necessary to expose, at the very least, some light onto this unfortunate chapter in Michigan history and, hopefully, send the message that the public right to know is paramount to any political interest.”