Daily Briefs

Nessel files brief in Equal Rights Amendment case

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel recently filed an amicus brief on behalf of the State of Michigan in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia circuit, in a case involving the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), Commonwealth of Virginia v Ferriero, Case No. 1:20-cv-242-RC.  The brief supports three plaintiff states, Illinois, Nevada and Virginia – the last three states to ratify the ERA – which are asking the Court to recognize the ERA as the 28th Amendment. 

The brief, filed late last Thursday, outlines the history of the ERA and the important work of Michigan hero Martha Griffiths, known as the “Mother of the ERA.” Martha Griffiths, the first woman sent to Congress by Michigan voters, pushed the amendment through Congress in the early 1970s. She made history as the first woman to serve on the powerful House Committee on Ways and Means and was the first woman to hold the post of lieutenant governor of Michigan. 

The brief argues that equality in law is one of the hallmark promises of America, which is ultimately why the ERA must be included in our Constitution. The brief states: “Michigan would like to see the work of Martha Griffiths, a Michigan hero who worked tirelessly for sex equality and who championed the ERA, come to fruition. And Michigan has an interest in ensuring that its residents receive the highest level of protection from discrimination on the basis of sex—a goal that can be achieved by ensuring that the ERA’s guarantee of equality is enshrined in our nation’s most treasured document: the United States Constitution.”

Court overturns order to have GM, Fiat Chrysler chiefs meet

DETROIT (AP) — An appeals court on Monday said the CEOs of General Motors and Fiat Chrysler don’t have to meet to settle a lawsuit between the two automakers.

The court overturned an extraordinary decision by a federal judge in Detroit who had ordered GM’s Mary Barra and FCA’s Mike Manley to get together and settle a dispute over FCA’s alleged role in corruption by union leaders.

The appeals court said U.S. District Judge Paul Borman abused his discretion by singling out Barra and Manley and setting other conditions.

“We do not mean to say, however, that the district judge may not order a pretrial settlement conference and/or mediation in the normal course,” the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said.

GM is suing crosstown rival FCA, alleging that it got an advantage by paying off union leaders to reduce labor costs during contract talks. FCA’s former labor chief, Al Iacobelli, is in prison, although the company denies that it directed any prohibited payments.

Borman described the lawsuit as a “nuclear option” that would be a “waste of time and resources” for years if he allows the case to move forward.

The appeals court rejected GM’s request to assign the case to another judge.


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