After the US Supreme Court declared Roe v Wade and Planned Parenthood v Casey to be unconstitutional, Michigan’s pre-Roe prohibition of abortion was set to become law. The 1931 law correctly outlawed abortions as crimes against unborn persons and only made exceptions for treatment necessary to save the life of the mother.
Mini Roe v Wade
Foreseeing the result of the Dobbs decision, Michigan’s pro-abortion governor and attorney general teamed up with Planned Parenthood to invalidate Michigan’s existing pro-life laws and asked the courts to invent a state constitutional right to abortion.
Yesterday, Judge Elizabeth Gleicher, an appellate level state judge in charge of the Court of Claims, predictably ruled that the Michigan constitution contains an unwritten right to abortion. In Michigan the Court of Claims is a court of limited jurisdiction that hears cases against the state based on state constitutional grounds.
In her opinion, judge Gleicher wrote that enforcing the ban would violate the “right to bodily integrity and equal protection” guaranteed by the Michigan constitution.
Michigan’s governor celebrated the opinion by attacking pro-lifers as extremists while warning that the clearly biased opinion will likely be appealed to the Michigan Supreme Court.
Unbelievably Biased Judge
Pro-lifers pointed out the unbelievable bias of the judge, who by any standard of judicial ethics should have recused herself.
As a volunteer attorney for the ACLU, Judge Gleicher represented Planned Parenthood Mahaffey v. Attorney General, a case that sought to invalidate the state’s informed consent law and have the state courts recognize a state right to abortion.
The informed consent laws were hardly extreme and simply required the abortionist to provide a woman seeking an abortion information about the baby, including both a description and a depiction of a baby at the approximate gestational age, and information about the abortion procedure itself and potential complications from the procedure. The abortionist would also instruct the woman that she had the option to review the information or not.
Gleicher, then acting as Planned Parenthood’s attorney, argued that the Michigan constitution contained a fundamental right to abortion, and although she won at the trial court level, the Michigan Court of Appeals overturned the lower court, soundly rejected the notion that the Michigan Constitution contained a right to abortion:
We conclude that neither application of traditional rules of constitutional interpretation nor examination of Supreme Court precedent supports the conclusion that there is a right to abortion under the Michigan Constitution.Mahaffey v. Attorney General, Michigan Court of Appeals 1997
If previously representing one of the parties to the case on an almost identical matter was not bad enough, Judge Gleicher’s record as a donor clearly shows her as a donor to both the current pro-abortion Attorney General and Governor and all of the current liberal supreme court judges. A quick glance at her donation record on Open Secrets shows just how active judge Gleicher has been, donating over 130 times to liberal politicians, judges and PAC’s.
Not shown in the open secrets record are the regular donations directly to Planned Parenthood, which Judge Gleicher disclosed when the current case was “randomly” assigned to her earlier this year.
Leftist Judicial Corruption at the State Level
While most pro-lifers rightly celebrated the overturning of Roe and Casey, and the subsequent exit of the federal judiciary from the abortion wars. The case of Judge Gleicher and the pro-abortion political bias that resulted in her pro-abortion anthem/opinion proves that even in those states that have good laws on the books, that legislation will be useless if the judiciary is not reformed.
Conservatives have fought hard and long to even the playing field in the federal judiciary, but now they must shift some of that focus to the states. Otherwise, the Gretchen Whitmers and Elizabeth Gleichers of the world will make all the conservative efforts to reform the US Supreme Court and in state legislatures absolutely worthless.