The Detroit branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People filed a lawsuit Monday saying Michigan's new emergency management law violates the voting rights of African Americans.
The NAACP filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court. It charges that more than 50% of the state's African Americans live under state control, compared to 1.3% of white residents.
The NAACP lawsuit is one of several challenging the state's new law, Public Act 436.
"This disparate and discriminatory impact on voters of color has resulted in a dilution of the value of the individual's right to vote for locally elected officials of their choosing," the lawsuit says.
The suit names Gov. Rick Snyder, Michigan Treasurer Andy Dillon, and Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson as defendants. It asks the court for an immediate injunction prohibiting emergency managers from exercising authority over local governments.
Longtime U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit, joined a press conference Monday announcing the lawsuit. "It's overdue that this goes into court," local reports quoted Conyers as saying. "That's why I want to associate myself with this struggle and the discussion that goes into it."
Michigan has nine local governments that operate under an emergency manager, including Detroit, the state's largest city, with the largest population of African Americans.