McCall Hamilton Advocacy and Public Affairs

Updates About Lower Court Rulings

Wayne County Judge Dismisses Claims of Election Violations

Update: Oct 31-Nov 11, 2022

On Monday, November 7th, Wayne Circuit Judge Timothy Kenny dismissed a lawsuit from Kristina Karamo – the GOP Secretary of State candidate – requesting to change Detroit’s absentee voting processes ahead of the November 8 general election.

Judge Kenny wrote in his dissenting opinion that there was insufficient evidence to Karamo’s claims of election law violations in Detroit. The court could not single out one community in the state for a case that “did not provide evidence in any of the 12 alleged election code violations” (Docket No. 22-012759).

The suit, upon its filing, asked the court to require the city only to count absentee ballots submitted in person. However, the plaintiffs tried to change the nature of their wording after the fact. The plaintiffs specifically sought an injunction to require the Detroit clerk’s office to comply with election law by validating signatures on absentee ballots.

Judge Kenny dismissed the lawsuit as moot, claiming that the request for relief in future elections means there is no present claim before the court. He also made it clear that the plaintiff’s complaints were untimely and would potentially disenfranchise tens of thousands of Detroiters in the November 8, 2022, general election.

Court of Claims Rules 1931 Abortion Law is Unconstitutional

Update: Sep 5-16, 2022

On September 7, Michigan Court of Claims Judge Elizabeth Gleicher ruled that Michigan’s 1931 abortion ban law is unconstitutional. In the ruling, Judge Gleicher found that the current law violates the due process and equal protection clauses in the Michigan Constitution.

Following the decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization issued by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year, which returned abortion decisions back to the states, Michigan’s abortion ban has not gone into effect due to multiple injunctions. The 1931 law in Michigan bans abortions except in the case where the mother’s life is in danger.

In the ruling, Gleicher stated that enforcement of the 1931 law would “deprive pregnant women of their right to bodily integrity and autonomy, and the equal protection of the law… Enforcement also threatens pregnant women with irreparable injury because without the availability of abortion services, women will be denied appropriate, safe and constitutionally protected medical care.”

Whitmer Kidnap Plotters Found Guilty

Update: Aug 22-Sep 2, 2022

On August 23, a federal court jury found Adam Fox and Barry Croft, two individuals who conspired to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer, guilty of conspiracy to kidnap and use a weapon of mass destruction in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan. This unanimous verdict came after the first attempt to prosecute the men ended in a mistrial.

Deliberations were delivered in less than 24 hours after a two week-long retrial. Two other men involved in the kidnapping plot – Brandon Caseta and Daniel Harris – were both acquitted in the first trial. Attorney for Ty Garbin, another man involved in the plot who agreed to a plea deal in the initial trial, filed a request with the court to reduce his sentence by 36 months, stating that Garbin provided significant assistance to convict Fox and Croft.

Following the verdict, Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued the following statement: “Today’s verdicts prove that violence and threats have no place in our politics and those who seek to divide us will be held accountable. They will not succeed, but we must also take a hard look at the status of our politics. Plots against public officials and threats to the FBI are a disturbing extension of radicalized domestic terrorism that festers in our nation, threatening the very foundation of our republic.”