CJR Staff
March 13, 2023

Michigan's Supreme Court Considering Woke Bill

Michigan's Supreme Court is taking a look at a rule change that would require judges to call attorneys and litigants their preferred pronouns, regardless of their biological sex.

Many Michigan attorneys and judges are speaking out against the proposition, saying it infringes on Americans' free speech.

"The Michigan Supreme Court sent a notice on January 18 that it was considering an amendment to Rule 1.109 of the Michigan Court Rules to force courts to comply with attorneys' and parties' desired pronouns in speech and in writing," reported Daily Wire. "Now, over a dozen Michigan judges and attorneys have expressed concern for what the rule’s implications would mean for free speech and religious liberty."

"Parties and attorneys may … include any personal pronouns in the name section of the caption, and courts are required to use those personal pronouns when referring to or identifying the party or attorney, either verbally or in writing," the proposition set to go before the court reads.

Michigan's Woke Supreme Court

William R. Bloomfield, general counsel for the Diocese of Lansing, said in an eight page response to the proposition that it would be a direct violation of the First Amendment

"In brief, requiring courts, i.e., judges, to use a person’s own designated personal pronouns is an unconstitutional violation of free speech and free exercise of religion," Bloomfield wrote.

"And as vital as the interest in free speech is for ordinary citizens, or groups of citizens, it is perhaps even more important for judges to be free of any compulsory speech," Bloomfield added in his response.

"The proposed rule change is another example of the Great Lakes State’s highest court catering to the demands of the LGBTQ community, even when those demands challenge the free speech and religious liberty protections guaranteed in the Constitution," reports Daily Wire. "Last summer, the court ruled in a 5-2 decision that the state’s civil rights protections preventing discrimination on the basis of sex also apply to sexual orientation and gender identity, targeting small businesses in the state that are not already subject to federal workplace laws."

The Michigan Supreme Court is receiving comments on the proposed change to Rule 1.109 through May 1.

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