The people trying to overturn Michigan’s souped-up emergency manager law get a hearing before the state Supreme Court tomorrow. They’ll try, again, to make the case that the font size on their petitions was the size required by the state. The technicality of fonts and font sizes is complicated enough that the state elections board asked a graphics professor, who told them it was big enough.
The distinction between font and typeface is that a font designates a specific member of a type family such as roman, boldface, or italic type, while typeface designates a consistent visual appearance or style which can be a “family” or related set of fonts. For example, a given typeface such as Arial may include roman, bold and italic fonts. In the metal type era, a font also often meant a specific point size, but with digital scalable outline fonts this distinction is no longer valid, as a single font may be scaled to any size.
Try explaining that in oral arguments. The brief also includes a visual comparison of their petition with others that have been approved, below. The activists call their type “crisper, clearer to the eye” than the others.
If the high court says the referendum can go forward, the emergency manager law would be frozen. That could call into question Muskegon Heights school district converting to a charter system, and Allen Park being under review for a state takeover, and the Benton Harbor manager selling off park land that’s supposed to be set aside. Meanwhile, the activists would have to scramble to get a campaign going – the vote would be in November.