UPDATE: The Michigan Attorney General says she will appeal today’s decision by the Court of Appeals to the Michigan Supreme Court.
“Just today, a poll released by the Detroit News and WDIV-TV indicated that 73% of Michigan voters say openly carried guns should be banned near polling places,” said spokesman Ryan Jarvi. “The merits of this issue – which impacts all Michiganders – deserves full and expedited consideration by our State’s highest court.”
The Court of Appeals order not to hear the case continues to make it possible for people to bring guns to the polling places on November 3rd, despite a Secretary of State directive to the contrary. That story is below.
LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) The Michigan Court of Appeals has turned down a request by the Attorney General’s office to hear an appeal of a case concerning guns at polling places.
A unanimous decision by the three judge panel says it won’t review an order by a Court of Claims judge who granted an injunction against a plan to ban the guns.
This leaves the injunction in place, which means people will still legally be allowed to carry guns to the polls on November 3rd.
Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson issued a directive on October 16th that would ban firearms at polling places and clerk’s offices on election day.
“I am committed to ensuring all eligible Michigan citizens can freely exercise their fundamental right to vote without fear of threats, intimidation or harassment. Prohibiting the open-carry of firearms in areas where citizens cast their ballots is necessary to ensure every voter is protected,” Benson said in a press release at the time.
A Court of Claims judge rejected those arguments on October 27th and issued an injunction against the directive.
The Attorney General’s office appealed that decision.
But in today’s order, the Appeals Court judges said they won’t even hear the case – because there are other tools to prevent voter intimidation.
“While the civil-rights amicus brief raises legitimate concerns about voter intimidation throughout this country’s history, the Michigan Legislature has given the Executive Branch important and necessary tools to prevent voter intimidation,” the court’s order said. “Voter intimidation is—and remains—illegal under current Michigan law.”
“Accordingly, anyone who intimidates a voter in Michigan by brandishing a firearm (or, for that matter, by threatening with a knife, baseball bat, fist, or otherwise menacing behavior) is committing a felony under existing law, and that law is—and remains—enforceable by our Executive branch as well as local law enforcement,” today’s decision said.
That decision leaves the Court of Claims’ injunction in place.
The order does not affect polling places at schools, churches, and other facilities that already ban weapons from their facilities. Guns will still not be allowed at those places on election day.