Juneteenth could become a Michigan court holiday

LANSING (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court is considering a statewide court holiday on Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery.

The court said it will accept public comment and hold a hearing in the months ahead.

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas, two months after the Confederacy had surrendered. It was about 2 1/2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in Southern states.

Congress and President Joe Biden created a federal holiday this year.

The Supreme Court said it's willing to consider dropping another court holiday, such as Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve, to make room for Juneteenth or simply add Juneteenth to the roster.

Justice David Viviano wrote a dissent, saying courts should remain open on Juneteenth while judges, lawyers and litigants pause and reflect on the day's historical significance.

"Our court already requires state courts to observe 12 holidays that occur or are celebrated on weekdays," Viviano said Wednesday. "And these holidays are in addition to the 30 days of annual vacation leave that are available to judges."

Comments on the proposal may be submitted by writing P.O. Box 30052, Lansing, MI 48909 or via email at ADMcomment@courts.mi.gov. When filing a comment, refer to ADM File No. 2021-31.


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