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Capitol Connection
From our State Capitol in Lansing to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, WKAR is committed to explaining how the actions of lawmakers are affecting Michiganders. Political and government reporter Abigail Censky leads this section. There are also stories from Capitol correspondents Cheyna Roth, Rick Pluta and the Associated Press. As the 2020 presidential race begins, look here for reports on the role Michigan will play in electing or re-electing the president.

Supreme Court To Hear Arguments In Voter Rights Case

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The Michigan Supreme Court has called a special hearing on a state law that makes it harder for petition campaigns to succeed in enacting new laws.

The justices will hear arguments for and against the law that was adopted by Republicans in 2018 and signed by then-Governor Rick Snyder. 

The statute was adopted by the Republican-controlled Legislature following successful petition campaigns that changed laws dealing with marijuana, redistricting, and voting rights. 

One of the rules sets limits on how many signatures can come from any one congressional district. The Legislature’s GOP leaders say lawmakers can set parameters around petition campaigns.

Mark Brewer represents groups challenging the law. He said the law violates the Michigan Constitution, and the Supreme Court should strike it down.  

“Because the Legislature is not adopting, not following the will of the people of Michigan, people have taken this option to bypass the Legislature, and now the Legislature is trying to cut that off.” Brewer said.

The Supreme Court has set a hearing date of March 11th after agreeing to take the case. Republicans say they acted within the rules set by the state constitution when they changed the petition law.

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