Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law Litigation

Grebner v. Michigan

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(page last updated December 27, 2007 at 12:37 PM)

Case Information

All Courts: Michigan Supreme Court (Case 135274); Michigan Court of Appeals (Case 281814); Ingham Circuit Court (Case 07-001507-CZ)
Topic(s): State Voter Registration Databases
State: Michigan
Date Filed: January 1, 2007
Date Ended: November 21, 2007

Issue: Whether MCL 168.615c, which was enacted by the Legislature with a vote of less than two-thirds of the members of each house, violated Michigan Const 1963, art 4, 30. Article 4, Section 30 of the Constitution requires that any "appropriation of public money or public property for local or private purposes" be passed by the state legislature by a 2/3 vote. MCL 168.615c requires, among other things, that electors indicate in writing which political party ballot they wish to vote in presidential primaries. As a consequence of MCL 168.615c, the political parties are given access to certain information gathered at public expense in order to support or oppose candidates. Another issue in the case is whether the statute violates the Purity of Elections Clause in Michigan's Constitution (Const 1963, art 2, 4) which requires the legislatures to enact laws "to preserve the purity of elections." Plaintiffs argue that MCL 168.615c violates this clause because only the two major political parties are entitled to the information gathered under the provision. An imporant aspect of this legal challenge is its effect on the state's planned January 15, 2008, presidential primary.

Status: Plaintiff's complaint was dismissed by the Michigan Supreme Court in a decision issued on November 21, 2007.

Michigan Supreme Court

Michigan Court of Appeals Court

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