By Dawn Wolfe Gutterman
BANGOR, Mich. – A federal suit seeking to strike down Michigan’s anti-family Proposal 2 has been suspended in favor of the state court case filed in March by the American Civil Liberties Union which is currently pending before the Ingham County Circuit Court.
Jessie Olson, who filed the suit on behalf of herself and her partner, filed a Notice of Dismissal on June 20. (For more information on the federal suit see “Michigan couple files federal anti-Prop 2 lawsuit“)
However, the federal case could be reopened at any time, said Olson, because of a federal court rule which allows pending cases to be dismissed one time, but then re-opened, without prejudice. Olson said that she would “most likely” wait until the state suit has made its way through the state court system, including the Michigan Supreme Court, before re-opening the federal court case.
“It is obvious that if they win we won’t have to proceed. But we want to be in a position to proceed if they lose,” Olson said.
“This was our plan all along, to take advantage of that system (the federal court rule),” said Olson. “So now we’re just going to wait and see.”
A federal court ruling could have the effect of negating any state court ruling.
According to Jay Kaplan, staff attorney for the ACLU of Michigan’s LGBT Project, “The ACLU and Ms. Olson both agree that the best strategy for challenging Proposal 2 is to proceed with the declaratory judgment action that we have filed in state court.”