State Supreme Court Mulls Decision on Abortion/Early Voting Proposals

The fate of two of the three proposals expected on the November ballot rests in the hands of the state’s highest court.

Lawyers behind the Reproductive Freedom for All and Promote the Vote ballot proposals filed complaints with the Michigan Supreme Court last week.Supreme Court Wat Pkg 9 6 2200 00 18 29still001

This was after the Board of State Canvassers deadlocked and did not certify the initiatives for the ballot.

“We’re going to use the mechanisms of democracy, that are created by the democracy, to prevent democracy from working,” said Jeff Swartz, WMU Cooley Law School professor of the efforts to decertify the proposals.

The Reproductive Freedom for All proposal collected a record amount of signatures, three quarters of a million. Promote the Vote had more than half a million. But now the ability to make the November ballot rests in the hands of seven justices.

This is because the Board of State Canvassers fell on party lines, failing to certify. In the case of the abortion proposal the decision was made mainly due to typography and spacing.

“They are not supposed to see if you dotted your I’s, crossed your T’s or put your commas where you’re supposed to,” said Swartz, “Because even the United States Constitution has what we would now referred to as typos.”

Immediately, lawyers for the proposals filed writs of mandamus.

“Which is exactly what it sounds like it,” said Swartz, “Is that is a court mandating someone do something.”

The Supreme Court will not be judging the morality or legality of abortion. Just if the question should go to the voters.

“They’re just going to decide, did the canvassing board fail to perform their duty by failing to certify?” said Swartz.

It’s expected they will because even if the typos and grammar can be confusing, that wording still collected enough signatures.

“That’s not their job, their job is to put on the ballot that which the people who signed the petition wanted to put on the ballot,” said Swartz, “Whatever that means, it means.”

The canvassing board meets again Friday, the deadline to make the ballot. The Supreme Court is expected to decide before then.

“If the court doesn’t make a decision, the canvassing board could change their decision,” said Swartz, “One of those republicans.”

Categories: Election 2022