Posted BY: | NwoReport
Michigan’s highest court is considering a rule change that would require judges to refer to attorneys and litigants by their preferred pronouns.
The Michigan Supreme Court sent a notice on January 18 that it was considering an amendment to Rule 1.109 of the Michigan Court Rules to force courts to comply with attorneys’ and parties’ desired pronouns in speech and in writing. Now, over a dozen Michigan judges and attorneys have expressed concern for what the rule’s implications would mean for free speech and religious liberty.
“Parties and attorneys may … include any personal pronouns in the name section of the caption, and courts are required to use those personal pronouns when referring to or identifying the party or attorney, either verbally or in writing,” the proposed rule states.
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Michigan judges and attorneys are writing to the court and speaking out about the problematic amendment. In an eight-page response to the proposed rule, William R. Bloomfield, general counsel for the Diocese of Lansing, said that it would be a direct violation of the First Amendment.
“In brief, requiring courts, i.e., judges, to use a person’s own designated personal pronouns is an unconstitutional violation of free speech and free exercise of religion,” he wrote, adding, “And as vital as the interest in free speech is for ordinary citizens, or groups of citizens, it is perhaps even more important for judges to be free of any compulsory speech.”