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Legislators Have Constitutional Rights, Too!


By Elizabeth Dallam Ayoub | February 15, 2024


Months ago Michigan Fair Elections reported that eleven Michigan State senators and representatives (“plaintiffs”) filed a lawsuit against Governor Whitmer, Secretary of State Benson, and Director of Elections Jonathan Brater (collectively “the government”) for usurping their constitutionally-given rights as legislators to regulate federal elections in our state.


The latest development is this lawsuit is that the Governor and team filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. The claim? The plaintiffs did not have standing to bring this lawsuit. Put another way, the Governor and team claimed the legislators had no legal right to file this lawsuit.


Under the U.S. Constitution “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof..“ (U.S. Const. Art. I, §4)


When the people of Michigan passed proposals at the general elections of 2018 and 2020 regarding elections, Michigan’s Constitution was changed to reflect these ballot changes, bypassing the legislature: the times, places and manner of holding elections was not “prescribed in [Michigan] by the Legislature thereof.” Under this legal theory, the 11-legislator plaintiffs filed suit.


Upon inauguration to service in the Michigan legislature, an individual takes an oath to uphold both the Michigan constitution and the U.S. Constitution. The individual elected representative is also given constitutional rights in that capacity. When the constitutional rights of any citizens are denied, citizens have the right to file lawsuits to invoke these constitutional protections and rights.


Throughout the years, “It is our constitutional right to . . .” has clamored throughout the streets of our nation, in front of the steps of the United States Supreme Court, on airwaves across the country. Lawsuits regarding free speech have run the gamut of web designers, people sporting political badges into polling places, people making campaign contributions, and people being forced to pay fees without their consent. All have a right to cry, “My free speech was violated.”


Individuals facing a loss of liberty have gone into courts decrying illegal searches and seizures that led to their arrest. They have argued cruel and unusual punishment. Others have contested jury sentences as not impartial.


The interplay between religious expression and public sentiment has been challenged. Individuals protesting a statue or monument or display, saying these items violate their constitutional protection against a government-established religion. Contraceptive rights. The rights to marry the person of one’s choosing. The right to own and carry firearms. The right to protection against the government seizing one’s property. In the interest of preserving these constitutionally protected rights, alleged violations are afforded their day in court.


Each claim, if judged true in a court of law, is rightfully reversed and an individual’s constitutional rights are restored. This is the nature of the constitution, to reign in an over-reaching government and preserve the individual’s right to liberty and to pursue happiness.


Each of these cases has woven its way through the legal system to the United States Supreme Court, the final arbiter of what protections the Constitution of the United States affords to each and every person in equal measure. Lady Justice is blind to skin color, religion, gender, and social or financial status.


Legislators do not shed their Constitutional protections when they walk through the hallowed halls of the Michigan Capitol. When the U.S. Constitution says that Legislators are given the right to determine the “Times, Places and Manners of holding Elections,” and when that right is taken away, Michigan Fair Elections stepped forward to financially support the Legislators’ legal case.


The path to true, honest, and fair elections is paved with ensuring that each person entitled to vote is able to vote one ballot, that each person is able to vote either in-person or through the mail, that voting machines are working correctly, and that our elected state legislators are not denied their constitutional right to consider and protect the integrity of this fundamental element of our constitutional republic.


The path is paved with numerous volunteers who donate their time and money for election integrity.

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Elizabeth Dallam Ayoub serves as MFE’s director of communications. She started her career working for an international company, transitioned into teaching French and Latin while her children were young, and then became a Michigan attorney.


 

News @ Noon: MFE Coalition Task Force Meetings

Join us Today, February 15th at 12 PM for

MFE's Coalition Task Force Meeting


Registration is required to attend the meeting.

After registering, you will receive an email with details on how to join the meeting.



Please note: No representatives of the media are allowed in our meetings.


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Agenda

MFE Coalition Task Force Meeting

Michigan Fair Elections

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM, Feb. 15, 2024, via WebEx


Patrice Johnson, Chair, Mich. Fair Elections 


Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder and national coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots and columnist for The Washington Times 

--"Securing and Winning the Future" 


 

Miguel Pilar, Turning Point Action

--Hispanic outreach: Key issues that will drive Hispanics to the polls


Luke Malace, Turning Point Action

--Underserved Voter Engagement


Sheree R. and Paul Opsommer 

--PIME report: Legislators write to the Secretary of State 


Margie G.

--New rules for joining WebEx News @ Noon

--Double voters. How can it be and what can be done?


Tim V.

--Daily absentee ballot reports

--Adds & deletes

--News and views

New business:


Next Task Force Coalition Meeting: Thurs., Feb. 22, 2024, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM meeting.

 

Please donate to Michigan Fair Elections 


MFE is a fiercely independent, tax-exempt 501(c)3 charity. We rely on voluntary contributions to fund our important, and sometimes costly, work. Legal claims are sometimes essential to improve the government and protect citizen rights, and they can be expensive.



Please support MFE's investigative research, honest journalism, and litigative actions to defend We the People's inalienable rights as protected in the U.S. Constitution. Donate today to assist our educational efforts to protect the principles of individual liberty in America.



 

WANTED: Poll Challengers and Election Inspectors


Pure Integrity Michigan Elections (PIME) is renewing its participation in the statewide Election Protection Team to make sure cities and towns across the Mitten State have an equal partisan balance of election inspectors and poll challengers, as the law requires.


If you are interested in becoming an election inspector or poll challenger, fill out the form at: www.electionprotectionteam.com/MI. Once you sign up, you will be emailed a list of poll challenger trainings.


All poll challengers must attend at least one training to be placed at a location in 2024.  To register, click on one of the Training Schedule links below. If you cannot attend one of these training sessions, more will be scheduled for February.

Virtual (Zoom) Training Schedule

  • Thursday, February 15th at 11:00 AM (RSVP here)

  • Monday, February 19th at 1:00 PM (RSVP here

  • Wednesday, February 21 at 7:00 PM (RSVP here

  • Monday, February 26 at 1:00 PM (RSVP here)

 

Mark your calendars to attend Election Integrity Network's outstanding national working groups. Consider also serving as liaison to report to MFE's Task Force Coalition on our Thursday meetings.  

  • Citizen Research Project | Ned Jones, EIN

  • Every Tuesday at 6 p.m. (ET)

  • Election Technology | Jim Womack, NCEIT

  • Every 2nd and 4th Thursday at 4 p.m. (ET)

  • Introduction to Election Integrity Infrastructure | Kerri Toloczko and Ned Jones, EIN

  • Every 2nd and 4th Thursday at 7 p.m. (ET)

  • Vote By Mail / USPS | Ned Jones, EIN

  • Every 1st and 3rd Tuesday at 4 p.m. (ET)

  • Legislative Development | Kathleen Harms, TN

  • Every Wednesday at 2 p.m. (ET)

  • Voter Roll Maintenance | Willard Helander, EIN

  • Every Wednesday at 4 p.m. (ET)

  • Vulnerable Voters | Kerri Toloczko, EIN

  • Every 2nd and 4th Tuesday at 4 p.m. (ET)

  • Every 1st Thursday at 7 p.m. (ET)

  • Election Audits | Mike Raisch

  • Every 1st and 3rd Thursday at 4 p.m. (ET)

  • Building Local Task Forces | Joshua Taylor

  • Every 2nd and 4th Thursday at 7 p.m. (ET)

  • Media Training | Kerri Toloczko

  • Every 1st Thursday at 7 p.m. (ET)


 

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Michigan Fair Elections. Artificial intelligence may have been used in the creation of this message or in the links referenced herein.




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