Justice's recusal sought in emergency manager case

Sep 19, 2011

A group that’s filed a legal challenge to Michigan’s emergency manager law wants one of the state Supreme Court justices to recuse himself from the case.

Attorneys for the Sugar Law Center say Justice Stephen Markman has a conflict of interest that should keep him from deciding the emergency manager case.

At issue is Markman’s wife. She’s a lawyer for the state Attorney General’s office. And she’s helping to defend the same law against a legal challenge in a separate, federal case.

Attorneys for the Sugar Law Center say the American Bar Association recommends that a judge disqualify himself if a spouse has an interest that could be “substantially affected” by the proceeding. They say whatever the state Supreme Court decides will play a large role in the federal court’s deliberations.

Michigan’s emergency manager law gives emergency managers sweeping new powers to strip elected officials of their powers and set aside union contracts.

To see the Sugar Law Center's legal brief, click here.