In re Request for Advisory Opinion Regarding 2018 PA 368 and 2018 PA 369

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  • Workplace Equality and Economic Empowerment
  • Public Benefits and Poverty
  • Authored Amicus Brief
2019

Regarding the Michigan's legislature's decision to "adopt and amend" two proposed ballot initatives to meaningfully raise the minimum wage and to mandate paid sick time for most employees.

Background of the Case

In 2018, Michigan voters certified two statutory initiatives to the ballot to go to a popular vote—one to meaningfully raise the minimum and tipped minimum wages and another to mandate paid sick time for most employees in Michigan. Before the initiatives could go to a popular vote, the Michigan Legislature adopted them and substantially amended them, gutting core protections.

Our Role in the Case 

In 2019, Legal Momentum authored this brief with other leading women’s rights organizations, asking the Michigan Supreme Court to issue an advisory opinion concluding that the Legislature’s actions were unconstitutional. The brief argues that the Michigan legislature’s “adopt and amend” scheme was not one of the three express options available under Michigan’s Constitution and strategically undercut a statutory initiative process designed to empower the people of Michigan, effectively eliminating their ability to vote on the two initiatives. In doing so, the Legislature further disenfranchised women and other members of the Michigan populace whose voices have long been suppressed. As a result, the Legislature’s actions disproportionately harmed women, depriving the populace of a critical opportunity to enact initiatives proven to advance economic security and equality for women and survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

Decision

The Michigan Supreme Court decided not to issue an advisory opinion.