McCall Hamilton Advocacy and Public Affairs

Updates About Lower Court Rulings

Michigan Court Blocks Mandatory 24-Hour Wait and Related Regulations on Abortion Care

Update: Jun 25-Jul 12, 2024

The Michigan Court of Claims issued a temporary order blocking the enforcement of a 24-hour waiting period, mandatory informed consent, and a ban on non-physician professionals providing abortion services. Judge Sima Patel ruled that these regulations conflict with Proposal 22-3, which grants constitutional protections for reproductive freedom, including the right to abortion care without unnecessary burdens. Judge Patel did not suspend all parts of the informed consent law; the requirement that abortion providers must ensure patients are not being coerced into the procedure is being upheld. Supporters of the order argued that delaying abortion care causes significant harm since it is time-sensitive and becomes riskier with time. Governor Gretchen Whitmer praised the decision, stating that the 24-hour waiting period and other regulations were unjustified barriers to reproductive health care.

Last year, Democrats in the Michigan House of Representatives attempted to repeal the waiting period and informed consent laws but did not have enough votes to pass the legislation. The case will continue, with further proceedings expected to address what happens next.

Michigan Redistricting Timeline & Updates

Update: Jan 27-Feb 12, 2024

The citizens panel responsible for redrawing Michigan legislative districts is currently considering six new House map configurations to address a federal court order to redraw 13 House and Senate districts. The current map, which contributed to Democrats gaining control of the House for the first time in 40 years, is being rewritten by the independent citizens redistricting commission. While the proposed maps generally lean Democratic, some configurations could lead to more competitive seats, potentially impacting the Democratic majority in the House. Notably, revisions aim to cluster districts in Detroit, possibly increasing African-American representation in the Legislature. The court set a deadline of March 29 for new House maps, with the possibility of using a court-appointed expert’s plan if necessary. Here’s a look at the timeline for redrawing state House maps:

Timeline for House District Mapping:

Feb. 2: Commission finalizes state House draft maps for public comment

Feb. 23: Public comment period concludes

March 1: Commission adopts final House maps, submits to court

March 8: Plaintiffs file any objections to plan with court

March 15: Court-appointed expert submits review of the commission’s work

March 29: Goal to implement new House maps. Judges left open the option of using a plan drawn by a court-appointed expert if they deem the commission’s work insufficient

April 12: Court reconvenes to determine next steps on redrawing state Senate maps

April 23: Filing deadline for candidates in new state House districts

Aug. 6: Michigan primary election

Nov. 5: Michigan general election


Supreme Court Rejects Delay, Michigan to Redraw Detroit Districts by Spring

Update: Jan 1-26, 2024

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to stay a lower court’s ruling that mandates Michigan’s redistricting commission to redraw political district maps for the Detroit area by spring. In response to the December 21 ruling invalidating 13 House and Senate districts in metro Detroit, the Michigan Citizens Independent Redistricting Commission and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson hoped for a pause in the redrawing process while appealing the decision. The redistricting process follows a successful challenge by a group of metro Detroiters who argued that commissioners improperly used racial data to diminish the influence of Black voters.

The affected districts, deemed unconstitutional by a three-judge panel, include seven House districts and six Senate districts, all currently held by Democrats. Despite Jocelyn Benson’s request, the Supreme Court’s decision means the mapmakers are now required to deliver a draft of new House districts by February 2, aligning with the upcoming 2024 elections. The court will be approving new districts by March 29.

Affected Districts:

Affected House Districts:

• House District 1 — Rep. Tyrone Carter (D-Detroit)

• House District 7 — Rep. Helena Scott (D-Detroit)

• House District 8 — Rep. Mike McFall (D-Hazel Park)

• House District 10 — House Speaker Joe Tate (D-Detroit)

• House District 11 — Rep. Veronica Paiz (D-Harper Woods)

• House District 12 — Rep. Kimberly Edwards (D-Eastpointe)

• House District 14 — Rep. Donavan McKinney (D-Detroit)

Affected Senate Districts:

• Senate District 1 — Sen. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor)

• Senate District 3 — Sen. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit)

• Senate District 6 — Sen. Mary Cavanagh (D-Redford Township)

• Senate District 8 — Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak)

• Senate District 10 — Sen. Paul Wojno (D-Warren)

• Senate District 11 — Sen. Veronica Klinefelt (D-Eastpointe)