Michigan wolf hunting may not resume until 2015 despite a new law approved Thursday, and opponents are already gearing up for a legal challenge and long-term fight.
“Once again, the Legislature has stomped on the voters of this state, but we will be overturning this unconstitutional initiative in court,” said Jill Fritz, head of Keep Michigan Wolves Protected and state director of the Humane Society of the United States.
Scott Eldridge, a Miller Canfield attorney representing the wolf protection group, said the they will “digest” Wednesday’s vote before determining how to proceed. He cited Article 4, Section 24 of the Michigan Constitution — which is designed to limit the scope of a law — as potential grounds for challenge.
There’s also a constitutional question over whether citizen-initiated laws can be subject to a referendum if they contain an appropriation, which the new measure does. The Michigan Supreme Court, in a 2001 ruling, said those laws cannot be challenged at the ballot box.
For the full article, see Jonathan Oosting, "Michigan wolf hunting may wait until 2015 while opponents prepare legal challenge to new law", MLive, August 28, 2014
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Source : Gongwer News Service : Michigan Report, Volume #53, Report 167, August 27, 2014. Full access requires a subscription or a visit to a subscribing library such as the Michigan State University Main Library.
The House this afternoon signed off on a measure that protects the possibility of an Upper Peninsula wolf hunt for the foreseeable future and takes the steam out of two referendums that aim to halt the hunts.
After about an hour of debate on the House floor, members voted 65-43 to give the final sign off on a citizen initiative that would protect the Legislature and Natural Resources Commission's (NRC) abilities to designate wolves and other animals as game species.
The House's vote today neuters the impact of two referendums, which challenged two previously passed wolf hunting protection laws. Both referendums will remain on the November ballots.
Debbie Munson Badini, spokesperson for the Department of Natural Resources, said if voters reject the previously passed laws on Election Day, the state would be prevented from having wolf hunts until the new initiative took effect 90 days after sine die. That puts the implementation of the citizens initiative at late March.
If the referendums failed, technically, Badini said the NRC could move toward allowing a wolf hunt.
For the full article, see "Wolf Hunt Protection Measure Clears Final Step", Inside MIRS Today, August 27, 2014.
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