Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has 14 days to file a brief with the Michigan Supreme Court to expand her argument that the state Constitution protects abortion rights.
Whitmer filed the case in Oakland County, but used a seldom-invoked executive authority to ask for the case to go directly to the Michigan Supreme Court. She is suing prosecutors in counties where clinics that perform abortions are located to bar them from enforcing an abortion ban if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the Roe v. Wade decision.
In Friday’s order, the court expressed interest in more details on how the governor views her rights and responsibilities, the facts in play, and employing an obscure and rarely used power. Also, why it’s necessary for the state Supreme Court to weigh in before it sees a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court.
A reversal of Roe could reactivate a dormant 1931 state law that would outlaw abortions except those necessary to save the life of a pregnant person. Whitmer’s lawsuit claims that law is trumped by privacy rights in the Michigan Constitution that are similar to those outlined in the Roe decision.
The order also asks whether it’s necessary for the case to beat a quick path to the State Supreme Court since a Michigan Court of Claims judge in a separate case recently issued an injunction to block enforcement of Michigan’s abortion ban if Roe is overturned.
Whitmer has 14 days to file and then other parties will be allowed to respond.