Dear Bridgewatchers, CBC members and neighbors,
This smells funny.  He never mentioned this issue to me.  Rep.  Durhal now represents the majority of Southwest Detroit.  Has he met with anyone, or any groups to discuss this? 
MIRS Capitol Capsule, Thursday, April 4, 2013

Durhal Sues Snyder To Stop NITC

A lawsuit filed by Rep. Fred DURHAL (D-Detroit) seeks to halt the New International Trade Crossing (NITC) and invalidate the administrative actions that led to it.

"The lawsuit has been filed because of the fact that the Governor stepped away from the legislative process to do what he wanted to do to get this bridge," said Durhal.

The lawsuit names Gov. Rick
SNYDER, the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF), the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the directors of those departments as defendants.

In it, Durhal through his lawyer, Godfrey DILLARD, claims that in entering into an agreement with Canada, the administration sidestepped four laws Snyder had signed as well as the state's constitution.

"Four Michigan statutes, all signed into law by Governor Snyder, prohibit MDOT and MSF from entering into any contract related to the construction planning or actual construction of the NITC/DRIC without Legislative approval in the form of specific enabling legislation," reads the complaint.

The laws cited are PA 192 of 2010, PA 63 of 2011, PA 200 of 2012 and PA 236 of 2012.

In addition, the filing points to a constitutional issue.

"Under the Michigan constitution, the executive branch cannot bind the state to a contract with a foreign sovereign absent approval from the Michigan legislature," read the document.

Dillard, the lawyer Durhal is using, formerly worked for the Detroit International Bridge Company (DIBC) under Matty MOROUN. The DIBC, currently the sole span between Detroit and Canada, has stridently opposed the NITC project as being unnecessary.

According to campaign finance filings, Durhal's legislative campaign has received $7,200 from members of the Moroun family since 2010.

MIRS asked if he was worried people would look at these numbers and conclude he was initiating the lawsuit at the Morouns' behest.

Durhal said that the Morouns have a business interest in seeing the NITC fail, but for him the bigger issue here is separation of powers.

"I think that there is a question of separation of powers. There is a question of the executive infringing upon the grounds of the legislative branch, and this is just another instance of it," said Durhal.

The lawsuit asks for relief including the state withdrawing its presidential permit application for the bridge and the crossing agreement being declared void and unenforceable.

The case was filed on Feb. 27, and is before Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Joyce DRAGANCHUK.

Durhal said he'd talked with House Democratic Leader Tim
GREIMEL (D-Auburn Hills) and the Governor about the lawsuit. He said the members of the House of Representatives were closer to the people than the Governor was.

"We have the responsibility, and the constitutional right, to make sure there's a check on the executive branch," said Durhal.