A law that allows the state’s governor to appoint emergency managers for cities and school systems in Michigan is being challenged by the Detroit branch of the NAACP.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is suing Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, saying that the emergency-manager laws have had a disparate impact on voters of color, depriving them of the right to elect municipal and school leaders.
More than half the state’s overall African-American population is governed by an emergency manager, according to the NAACP. Only 1.3 percent of white residents live in areas that have been put under state control. Emergency managers are currently in charge of the school systems in Detroit, Highland Park, Muskegon Heights, and six cities. The emergency managers are appointed by the governor.
The lawsuit, filed in district court in Michigan, says that cities with similar degrees of fiscal stress but higher proportions of white residents have not been put under emergency management.
A version of this article appeared in the May 22, 2013 edition of Education Week as NAACP Challenges Law On Emergency Manager