In 2013, 52% of all African-Americans living in Michigan had their voting rights taken away by Emergency Managers, compared to only 2% of whites. In November 2014 a federal judge concluded that the Emergency Managers law had been applied in a racially discriminatory manner. That law allows the state to appoint a manager to unilaterally govern a city. His decisions pre-empt and supersede decisions by city councils or mayors. In a November 2012 referendum, the citizens of Michigan had voted to overturn the 2011 law but within weeks the state legislature enacted an almost identical law immune to the popular will.
Some argue the exercise of undemocratic authority was a key to the widespread lead poisoning of residents in the city of Flint.
(Photo: Jake May/ MLive.com)