Judge dismisses lawsuit against Michigan petition circulator law
By Rick Pluta
A bill to let out-of-state residents gather petitions signatures is awaiting Governor Rick Snyder's signature. Because of the bill, a federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed against the state.
The American Civil Liberties Union says a state law that only allows legally registered Michigan voters to circulate petitions violates free speech rights. The lawsuit has brought together liberal and conservative groups that say it should not make a difference who collects signatures to get a question or a candidate on the ballot. They say that's no different than going to another state to knock on doors, participate in a rally, or carry a sign.
The Legislature passed a bill to change to law, so Detroit US District Court Judge Robert Cleland has ruled the lawsuit is no longer necessary. However, his order says the case can be re-opened if the governor vetoes the bill.