Michigan Supreme Court announces oral argument to take place July 17

The Michigan Supreme Court announced that oral arguments in one case will be heard Wednesday, July 17. The court will convene to hear the case at 9:30 a.m. in the sixth floor of the Hall of Justice, 925 W. Ottawa Street in Lansing.

The court broadcasts its oral arguments and other hearings live on the Internet via streaming video technology. Residents can watch the stream live only while the court is in session and on the bench (https://courts.michigan.gov/courts/michigansupremecourt/oral-arguments/live-streaming/pages/live-streaming.aspx). Streaming will begin shortly before the hearings start; audio will be muted until justices take the bench.

The following brief account may not reflect the way that some or all of the court’s seven justices view the case. The attorneys may also disagree about the facts, issues, procedural history, and significance of this case.

Wednesday, July 17, 9:30 a.m.

No. 159160; In re House of Representatives Request for Advisory Opinion Regarding Constitutionality of 2018 PA 368 & 369.

Eric Restuccia

No. 159201; In re Senate Request for Advisory Opinion Regarding Constitutionality of 2018 PA 368 & 369.

Fadwa Hammoud

In September 2018, two ballot initiatives, one pertaining to the minimum wage (the Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act) and one pertaining to paid sick leave (the Earned Sick Time Act), garnered enough petition signatures to qualify for placement on the November 6, 2018, general election ballot. In accordance with Const 1963, art 2, § 9, the initiative petitions first were submitted to the Legislature for adoption or rejection. On September 5, 2018, both houses of the Legislature adopted the initiatives and enacted them into law. Therefore, the initiatives were not on the ballot. Thereafter, the Legislature made substantive revisions to the laws, which then-Governor Snyder signed on December 13, 2018, as 2018 PA 368 and 2018 PA 369. The acts took effect on March 29, 2019. The House of Representatives and the Senate have separately requested an advisory opinion from the Supreme Court on whether Const 1963, art 2, § 9 allows the Legislature to enact an initiative petition into law and then amend the law during the same legislative session. The Supreme Court has ordered oral argument to be heard on July 17, 2019, at 9:30 a.m., and it has invited the House and Senate, and any member of either chamber, to file briefs addressing: (1) whether the court should exercise its discretion to grant the requests to issue an advisory opinion in this matter; (2) whether Const 1963, art 2, § 9 permits the Legislature to enact an initiative petition into law and then amend that law during the same legislative session; and (3) whether 2018 PA 368 and 2018 PA 369 were enacted in accordance with Const 1963, art 2, § 9.