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Abortion, voting rights ballot cases before MI Supreme Court face Friday deadline

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The Michigan Supreme Court faces decisions this week on whether two contentious questions will appear on the November ballot.

A deadlock on the Michigan Board of State Canvassers last week blocked two proposed amendments to the state Constitution from the November ballot. One would add an expansive voting rights amendment to the Constitution. The other would enshrine abortion rights in the Constitution.

Abortion still remains legal in the state under lower court rulings despite a 1931 law that would otherwise ban most abortions.

The Supreme Court has remained quiet so far on abortion case appeals. But, in this instance, waiting could mean the abortion rights amendment would not appear on the November ballot. The same would be true for the proposed voting rights amendment.

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers has scheduled a Friday meeting to take action, if necessary, to comply with any Supreme Court decisions. Friday is the deadline to finalize the ballot.

A spokesperson for the court said the justices are aware of the deadline and are reviewing the case filings. The court has four Democratic Party-nominated justices serving and three Republican Party-nominated justices.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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