Michigan Information & Research Service Inc.
Michigan Information & Research Service Inc.

Prosecutors Want Governor On Stand In Suit Challenging Abortion Law

08/09/22 11:36 AM By Emily Michienzi

(Source: MIRS.news, Published 08/08/2022) An attorney representing prosecutors being sued by Governor Gretchen Whitmer has subpoenaed the Governor to testify at an Aug. 17 hearing in Oakland County.


Attorney David Kallman said Whitmer claims she will suffer "irreparable harm" if the Oakland County Circuit Court doesn't grant a permanent injunction stopping enforcement of Michigan's abortion ban, and as a result, his clients are entitled to question her.


"She's the plaintiff; she's the one claiming there's a need for injunctive relief … and she has to show irreparable harm," he told MIRS Monday. “… I have the right to ask the Governor about those issues. … I don't know how she's harmed as governor if a prosecutor prosecutes a doctor under the abortion law.”


Kallman expects Whitmer's legal team will file a motion to quash the subpoena and if she succeeds, he will likely move to dismiss the lawsuit.


A message to Whitmer's spokesperson was not returned.


The subpoena requires Whitmer to testify at an Aug. 17 hearing in front of Judge Jacob Cunningham, who earlier granted Whitmer's request for a preliminary injunction.


Kaylie Hanson, the Governor's chief communications officer, said “Right now, millions of women are seeing their rights and freedoms eviscerated, while nurses and doctors are being threatened with prosecution or jail time for simply doing their jobs. At the same time, we have partisan prosecutors in this state who are playing political games to deflect from the fact that they are pushing dangerous abortion bans, even in instances of rape or incest.


"Governor Whitmer filed her lawsuit because politicians have no business telling women what they can and cannot do with their bodies and lives. She will continue to fight to protect a woman’s ability to make her own medical decisions with her trusted health care provider.”


Whitmer's request came after the Michigan Court of Appeals said the prosecutors named on Whitmer's April lawsuit did not have to follow the Court of Claims ruling in Planned Parenthood's separate lawsuit that also challenges the state's 1931 abortion-ban law.


In that case, Court of Claims Judge Elizabeth Gleicher held in May there is a "substantial likelihood" that the statute violates due process, and she ordered that Attorney General Dana Nessel and all state and local officials under the state's supervision do not prosecute the statute.


Whitmer filed her suit in April as well as an executive message with the Michigan Supreme Court, whom she's asked to certify the question and hear the case. Whitmer, who maintains the right to an abortion is protected under the state constitution, has repeatedly asked the Supreme Court to hear the matter on an expedited basis.


Kallman represents Jared Jarzynka and Christopher Becker, the Jackson and Kent county prosecutors, respectively, who are named defendants in Whitmer's suit.