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Attorney General's office takes on itself in adopt and amend case

Michigan Supreme Court
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Lawyers from the state Attorney General's Office will be in front of the Michigan Supreme Court Wednesday. The twist? They'll be arguing both sides of the same issue.

The Attorney General's office says this move is part of its dual role. The office represents both the people of Michigan as well as the state.

"We really have two functions, we take those functions very, very seriously," said Attorney General Dana Nessel's spokeswoman, Kelly Rossman-McKinney. "And there are occasions where we are on both sides of an issue because of that dual role and responsibility."

The Michigan Supreme Court was asked earlier this year by the state Legislature to issue an advisory opinion on whether or not it was okay for the state Legislature to adopt and amend two ballot initiatives in the same session.

Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud will argue against the move and Deputy Solicitor General Eric Restuccia will argue in favor.

Rossman-McKinney said there is a conflict wall in place in the office, and while it can seem odd at times when one attorney has to get up and leave in the middle of a meeting, there are no hard feelings.

"It is absolutely wonderful to see," Rossman-McKinney said. "Because you can do battle in the courtroom and still be wonderful, enthusiastic, supportive, respectful, and trusting colleagues."

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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