ROUND TWO


Mike Kowall

When a bi-partisan group of 10 former Michigan lawmakers (including Republican ex-state Senator Mike Kowall from White Lake) got the word this past January that U.S. District Judge Janet Neff in Grand Rapids had rejected their 2019 lawsuit challenging term limits approved in 1992 by state voters, we reported the rumor that her ruling would not be the end of the case. And an appeal of Neff’s decision has now come to pass. The group filed with the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in April, which affirmed nearly three decades ago the Michigan Constitutional amendment holding House members to three two-year terms and Senate members to two four-year terms. But the group of former legislators is hanging its collective hat on a slight variation from the first legal challenge decades ago, this time saying that Michigan’s term limits violate both the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and Michigan’s Constitution, creating a class of citizens (experienced lawmakers) denied the right to run for office. A release from the group bemoans the loss of experience in Lansing and at least one member has been quoted that there would have been less of a stalemate with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer if lawmakers were more mature. Said one supporter of the current legal fight: “a little bit of water needs to run under the bridge before someone is allowed to write laws under which we all must live.”

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