Constitutional Law: A Survey of Michigan Cases
39 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2019
Date Written: May 25, 2019
This article surveys constitutional cases coming out of Michigan from May 31, 2017 through June 1, 2018. The survey period tended to involve topics that will be in the fronts of the minds of U.S. Supreme Court watchers for the next several years: analytical approaches to religion, equal protection, and due process that may morph as Justice Brett Kavanaugh takes the seat vacated by former Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. Cases were heavier on federal constitutional law than state constitutional law; this article therefore focuses more heavily on the former. The article analyzes cases involving enumerated rights — namely, cases involving speech and religion under the First Amendment; unenumerated rights under the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses; and the scope and other limits on government power, generally. This article includes, of course, coverage of cases from Michigan state courts, but because some of the most interesting cases during the survey period were litigated in federal courts, the article also covers cases from federal district courts in Michigan and, when appropriate, cases from the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals involving Michigan parties.
During the survey period, federal courts and Michigan appellate courts broke new ground, particularly in the areas of free exercise, equal protection, threshold questions around due process rights, the essential political nature of Native American tribes, and the Contracts Clause.
Keywords: Survey, Michigan, Constitutional Law
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