Chief Justice Bridget McCormack criticized those officials for that decision, writing in her decision Thursday: “Seven hundred and fifty-three thousand and seven hundred and fifty-nine Michigan citizens have signed this petition—more than have ever signed any petition in Michigan history.” The challengers have yet to produce a single signatory who claims to be confused by the limited space clauses in the full text of the proposal. However, two members of the State Board of Canvassers will prevent the people of Michigan from voting on the proposal. “
McCormack added that using spacing errors to justify abstaining from voting was “a game of gotcha gone terribly wrong” and commented: “What a sad sign of the times.”
Two justices dissented, saying the court should have held oral arguments on the case before ruling and that the opposition’s claims were valid.
“It may have the right words in order,” Judge David Viviano said of the abortion rights petition, “but the lack of critical wording makes the rest of the text very difficult to read and understand.”
Citizens to Support MI Women and Children, an anti-abortion activist group in the state formed to campaign against the ballot process, argued in court that the Reproductive Freedom for All amendment included a “collection of nonsense letters that are not words” and therefore should not be allowed on the ballot.
The coalition supporting the amendment responded that denying the certification “disenfranchised the more than 730,000 Michigan voters who read, understood, and signed these petitions.”
Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel – up for re-election this year – submitted a brief noting that the US Constitution also had various gaps between words.
“If they truly believe that those zoning and drafting issues should prevent this measure from becoming law, they don’t lose the ability to challenge it if it passes,” Nessel said in a statement. video posted on Thursday. “But if they don’t keep the voting request, there is no chance to get to that place because you didn’t allow the voters to express their opinions.”
Abortion rights activists have spent much of this year collecting signatures from all 83 counties in the state — far exceeding the nearly 425,000 needed to qualify. The progressive groups pushing the initiative sent signatures to the Government election office in early July, and the bureau in early August recommended its confirmation after finding that most of the signatures were valid. No third party parties or the Board of Canvassers have challenged the authenticity or number of signatures.
The proposed amendment would include federal constitutional protections for abortion and other reproductive health services, including abortion control, contraception, prenatal care and in-vitro fertilization. It would also stop the state’s 1931 abortion ban from going into effect if federal courts uphold it in two pending cases involving lawsuits brought by Planned Parenthood and Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The ban, which does not include exemptions from rape or having sex with a relative, remains blocked by a state court.
The suspension of the 1931 law was extended Wednesday by Michigan Court of Claims judge Elizabeth Gleicher, who ruled that it violated the state constitution because it would “deprive pregnant women of their right to bodily integrity and autonomy and equal protection of the law.” His decision is likely to be appealed, and abortion rights advocates see the ballot campaign as the only sure way to protect abortion access in the state.
Michigan Supreme Court rules on abortion in November vote
#Michigan #Supreme #Court #rules #abortion #November #vote