McCall Hamilton Advocacy and Public Affairs

Updates About Public Health

Michigan’s 1931 Abortion Ban Law Injunction Remains in Place

Update: Jul 25-Aug 5, 2022

Michigan continues to grapple with the new reproductive health landscape in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe vs. Wade and Planned Parenthood vs. Casey.

Most recently, on July 29, Court of Claims Judge Elizabeth Gleicher, who issued the injunction temporarily blocking the state’s 1931 abortion ban, denied a motion from Republicans in the Legislature to disqualify her from the case Planned Parenthood vs. Attorney General, challenging the constitutionality of the 1931 law. Concerns from Republicans stemmed from Judge Gleicher’s previous ties to Planned Parenthood and personal campaign contributions to Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel.

On Monday, August 1, pro-choice advocates were dealt a temporary blow when the Court of Appeals ruled that the abortion ban does not apply to local county prosecutors (who are not under the jurisdiction of the Michigan Attorney General), potentially opening the door for felony charges to be brought against physicians who perform abortions. Hours later, however, Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Jacob Cunningham granted Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s request for a temporary restraining order to prohibit enforcement of Michigan’s 1931 statute criminalizing abortion. In effect, local county prosecutors remain prohibited from criminally prosecuting abortion in Michigan while the order is pending.

During a hearing on August 3 in the Oakland County Circuit Court, the restraining order was extended and another hearing on August 17 was scheduled. It is possible the order could be extended for an indeterminate period of time. Separately, Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s newest filing calls on the Supreme Court to immediately consider the April lawsuit which asked the court to decide if the state’s constitution protects the right to abortion.

Flint Water Crisis Prosecutions to Continue

Update: Jun 27-Jul 8, 2022

On June 28, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled 6-0 that the Attorney General’s use of a one-person grand jury system could not issue indictments, and anyone charged under the system has the right to a preliminary examination. This was seen as a win for the Flint Water Crisis defendants; however, the ruling did not throw out the suit entirely.

Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy filed two sets of motions with the Genesee County Circuit Court. The first motions ask for the cases to be remanded to the District Court for preliminary exams in compliance with the Michigan Supreme Court. The second motions inform the court that the cases will proceed upon formal complaint.

All criminal charges that were announced last year can be found here.

Whitmer Signs Legislation to Fund School Safety

Update: Jun 13-24, 2022

On Friday, June 10, Governor Whitmer signed House Bill 6012, legislation to, among other things, provide supplemental appropriations to Oxford High School following the devastating shooting that occurred on November 30, 2021.

Sponsored by Representative Pamela Hornberger (R-Chesterfield), a former public-school teacher, the funding aims to implement risk assessments to identify campus safety and determine where further investments are needed as well as ensure emergency plans and protocols are effective. A total of $14 million will be awarded to all schools for $2000 grants to complete comprehensive safety and security assessments. The bill also provides direct funding to Oxford Community Schools to hire mental health professionals, enhance security, and other student supports.