DETROIT (WJBK) -Opponents of Michigan’s new emergency manager law are seeking to block it in federal court, saying the measure is unconstitutional.

The tougher emergency manager law, which was passed by the Legislature and signed by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder in December, takes effect Thursday. It gives state-appointed managers authority, among other things, to modify or throw out union contracts

Kevyn Orr, a bankruptcy turnaround expert, began his role as Detroit’s emergency manager on Monday. “He can sell city assets, he can fire elected officials,” says FOX 2 legal analyst Charlie Langton. “The real kicker of this law is that after 18 months, the city can get rid of Kevyn Orr with a two-thirds vote.”

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A lawsuit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Detroit seeks an injunction to stop the law. It claims that the new law is similar to one that voters rejected in November, and violates the collective bargaining rights of workers.

Snyder defends the new law, saying it is needed to fix city finances. Detroit recently got an emergency manager.

Civil rights leader the Rev. Al Sharpton and others plan events Thursday in Detroit.

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