Michigan activists ask court to overturn abortion law injunction
Anti-abortion activists and conservative lawyers are asking the Michigan Court Appeals to overturn a lower court’s decision who was looking to temporarily block a state law criminalizing most abortions if U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
The request, filed Friday evening, comes from Michigan Right to Life, the Michigan Catholic Conference and two local prosecutors. They are represented by the conservative Great Lakes Legal Center, the same organization that opposes the lawsuit of Governor Gretchen Whitmer who is also seeking to overturn the state abortion ban.
“Courts must not facilitate the misuse of sham trials without opposing parties to strike down duly enacted legislation with which the governor or attorney general personally disagrees,” said David Kallman, the center’s senior legal counsel.
“This abuse of power must stop now. Justice must intervene immediately to restore the rule of law.
The filing comes a week after Claims Court Judge Elizabeth Gleicher agreed Planned Parenthood of Michigan was likely to win in a lawsuit against Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. The lawsuit argues that the state law of 1931 that criminalizes all abortions except those performed to save the life of a pregnant person violates the Michigan Constitution and that the state constitution guarantees already the right to abortion.
Gleicher issued a preliminary injunction in the case, a decision she says bars prosecutors from charging anyone with violating that law if the U.S. Supreme Court determines there is no state law. and constitutional to abortion. The court is expected to overturn the 1973 decision in Roe as early as this week.
Because Nessel has already sworn not to fight Planned Parenthood or Gleicher’s ruling, the conservative coalition says it has a duty to step in on behalf of the state and defend the law that is still in effect.
“The Attorney General, who has previously declined to file a motion to dismiss or file a factum opposing the sought preliminary injunction on the merits, now applauds his own defeat and the Court of Claims’ purported injunction,” reads -on in part of the center’s case with the court of appeal.
“Unsurprisingly, she is now declining to appeal. In short, this Claims Court action has become a runaway train and only this court can apply the brakes.”
The center is asking the Court of Appeals to essentially allow it to serve as a state and appeal Gleicher’s injunction. The Conservative coalition also wants the top court to overturn the injunction, arguing that it ignored previous precedents and judicial standards. The request lists a June 7 deadline to appeal Gleicher’s decision, asking the Court of Appeals to rule on the request quickly.
Nessel had previously said she would not oppose a motion to intervene by the Michigan Legislature. Representatives from his office and Planned Parenthood did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Monday.
The conservative coalition filing also notes that the Michigan Court of Appeals already determined in the late 1990s that the state constitution does not guarantee any abortion rights. The decision in Mahaffey v. Attorney General, is consistently cited by anti-abortion rights activists who argue that a Michigan court has already dismissed Planned Parenthood and Whitmer’s claims.
But abortion rights advocates point out that the Michigan Supreme Court has never ruled on the constitutionality of state abortion. In Whitmer’s lawsuit, she relies on little-used power to ask the state high court to immediately hear her case and determine that there is a state constitutional right to abortion. .
On Friday, the Michigan Supreme Court asked Whitmer’s legal team to answer five key procedural questions in her case. This included whether the state court should wait for the U.S. Supreme Court to issue its own ruling on abortion and whether Gleicher’s injunction means the state Supreme Court need not rule. immediately in the Whitmer case.
Whitmer’s team has two weeks to respond to the court’s request.
Contact Dave Boucher at [email protected] or 313-938-4591. Follow him on Twitter @Dave_Boucher1.