Court issues ruling on state's 1931 ban on abortion

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (Official photo)

The state Court of Appeals in Michigan has ruled that the state’s 1931 abortion ban can be enforced, now that the Supreme Court has eliminated the faulty nationwide Roe v. Wade precedent.

“Michigan’s elected officials have a duty to uphold and defend the law, and protect the lives of the unborn,” explained Denise Harle, of the Center for Life at the ADF.

“Today’s ruling by the Court of Appeals is a major step forward in allowing the county prosecutors to do their job and enforce the state law that protects children and mothers, even if the attorney general refuses to do so.”

The ruling concluded county prosecutors have full authority to defend and enforce Michigan’s 1931 law that protects unborn lives. The decision limited the Michigan Court of Claims judge’s earlier ruling that halted enforcement of the law.

Additionally, the Michigan Court of Appeals clarified that the lower court’s preliminary injunction never applied to county prosecutors in the first place, so counties can enforce the pro-life law immediately.

The case had been brought by lawyers with the Great Lakes Justice Center and Alliance Defense Freedom on behalf of behalf of Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney Gerard M. Jarzynka, Kent County Prosecuting Attorney Christopher R. Becker, Right to Life of Michigan, and the Michigan Catholic Conference.

The organizations asked the Michigan Court of Appeals to take control of the case Planned Parenthood of Michigan v. Attorney General of the State of Michigan and order the lower court to dismiss it after that “court glaringly exceeded its jurisdiction.”

The court found that “although the injunction purports to enjoin anyone acting under the attorney general’s control and supervision, MCL 14.30 does not give the attorney general ‘control’ over county prosecutors.”

The 1931 law protects the lives of the unborn, but both abortion industry giant Planned Parenthood and abortion-supporting Attorney General Dana Nessel argued that the law should be thrown out.

At the lower Court of Claims, a judge who previously as a lawyer argued on behalf of Planned Parenthood, and contributes to the abortion corporation, issued a sweeping order that created in the Michigan Constitution a “right to abortion.”

She suggested that prosecuting attorneys are barred from enforcing the law, even though they are not parties to the lawsuit and never presented any arguments in the case.

According to the Great Lakes Justice Center, the decision was a victory for the rule of law.

It was Judge Elizabeth Gleicher’s injunction against Attorney General Dana Nessel that was thrown out.

“The Court of Appeals affirmed what Jackson County Prosecutor Jerard Jarzynka and Kent County Prosecutor Christopher Becker argued all along—local county prosecutors cannot be bound by the Court of Claims,” the center said.

The Court of Appeals ruled, “… plaintiffs Jarzynka and Becker are not and could not be bound by the Court of Claims’ … preliminary injunction because the preliminary injunction does not apply to county prosecutors.”

“As the Great Lakes Justice Center argued, the Court of Appeals agreed that county prosecutors are local officials and are not state actors. Therefore, the Court of Claims had no jurisdiction over the prosecutors and could not enjoin them from exercising their prosecutorial discretion,” the center explained.

David Kallman, senior legal counsel for Great Lakes Justice Center, explained, “This is a great win for the Rule of Law and limiting judges to their proper jurisdiction. The Court of Appeals reaffirmed the independent authority of local prosecutors and upheld Michigan’s Constitution. Michigan’s abortion statute is immediately in effect and enforceable by local prosecutors.”

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