Can they even do that? Michigan Supreme Court asks for input on jurisdiction on adopt and amend case

Jul 9, 2019

The Michigan Supreme Court is unsure if it can weigh in on the method used to change Michigan’s minimum wage and earned sick time laws, and it wants Attorney General Dana Nessel to weigh in.

Last year the state Legislature adopted two ballot measures. The measures increased the state’s minimum wage and required certain employers offer paid earned sick time. Then the Republican-led Legislature quickly made major changes to those measures in the same Legislative session. That brought up the question of whether that “adopt and amend” move was okay.

So, the state House and Senate asked the Michigan Supreme Court to issue an advisory opinion. The court plans to hear arguments next week, though it did not say for certain if it would issue an advisory opinion. Now the state’s highest court is not sure if it can issue an advisory opinion if it chose to.

There’s a 2007 Michigan Supreme Court Advisory opinion that says the court can weigh in on laws, but only if they got the request before the law went into effect. But there’s also a different ruling, from 1976, that says advisory opinions are not binding.

Nessel has been given until July 10th at 5:00p.m. to submit her briefs.