As talk of Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm receiving an appointment to President-elect Barack Obama's administration increases, the question of what would happen to the state level politics becomes more important. If the Governor were to accept a position she would leave her current office with two years left in her second and last term to be replaced by the current lieutenant governor, John Cherry. . Current Michigan law states that if this situation plays out or there is a vacancy in the office of the governor for some other reason, the lieutenant governor takes on the post of governor and the Senate may pick an acting lieutenant governor from the same political party as the governor. The constitutionality of this system for appointing a lieutenant governor is being questioned by Michigan's attorney general who has determined that the Senate may only select its own presiding officer but has no constitutional authority to fill a vacancy in the lieutenant governor office.
To remedy this objection Rep. Steve Bieda (D-25th District) has proposed House Joint Resolution OOO that would mimic the 25th amendment of the United States Constitution by allowing the new governor to appoint the new lt. governor and submit the nomination to the state legislature for a majority vote in both chambers, in much the same way that a mid-term president may pick the new vice president.
Bieda's proposal needs to pass the House and the Senate with a two-thirds majority in each and then appear in an upcoming election to become law. He is also drafting an accompanying bill that would create the same process in state law.
Objections to the bill and proposed amendment allege that the appointment process is only an issue because of the possibility of Governor Granholm's appointment to which supporters reply that they are instead in response to the attorney general's ruling on the current law's constitutionality.
Sources: http://www.mlive.com/grpress/news/index.ssf/2008/11/granholm.html, http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20081031/FREE/810319997, http://www.legislature.mi.gov./(S(ulfyli55vwzpihme0qsch0ac))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=2008-HJR-OOO