By Dave Andrusko
On Wednesday, the Michigan Court of Appeals “opened the door” to requests from Right to Life of Michigan, the Michigan Catholic Conference, and two county prosecutors who are asking the appeals court to throw out the injunction granted by Court of Claims Judge Elizabeth Gleicher blocking the revival of a state law criminalizing most abortions should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade.
“The filing comes one week after Court of Claims Judge Elizabeth Gleicher agreed Planned Parenthood of Michigan was likely to win in a lawsuit filed against Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel,” wrote Dave Boucher of the Detroit Free Press. “The lawsuit argues the 1931 state law that criminalizes all abortions except those performed to save the life of a pregnant person violates the Michigan Constitution, and that the state constitution already guarantees the right to an abortion.”
Boucher added, “Gleicher issued a preliminary injunction in the case, a move she said prevents prosecutors from charging anyone with violating that law if the U.S. Supreme Court determines there is not a national, constitutional right to abortion.”
Ordinarily, a state’s attorney general would appeal. But “Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel said she won’t appeal Gleicher’s order,” according to Beth LeBlanc and Carol Thompson. “Nessel, the named defendant in the case, said the ruling against her office is a ‘victory for the millions of Michigan women fighting for their rights.’”
“This is the kind of mess that you end up in the court system when the state’s chief executive and its attorney general refuse to uphold and defend the law that has been in place since 1931,” said John Bursch, an Alliance Defending Freedom lawyer representing Right to Life of Michigan and Michigan Catholic Conference.
“They may not like it, but no one has the ability to unilaterally ignore, change, encourage the invalidation of Michigan law. They should be working through the democratic process just like anyone else.”
In a separate legal action, Gov. Whitmer is trying to get the Michigan Supreme Court to declare the 1931 law unconstitutional, Boucher wrote. Last Friday
the Michigan Supreme Court asked Whitmer’s legal team to answer five key procedural questions in her case. That included whether the state court should wait until the U.S. Supreme Court issues its own abortion ruling and if Gleicher’s injunction means the state Supreme Court does not need to immediately rule in Whitmer’s case.