What's Practice And Procedure? The Fight Goes On In Michigan
On a question that only lawyers are likely to care about, the Michigan Supreme Court continues to carry on an ideological split opened up by McDougall v. Schanz over what constitutes "practice and procedure" for purposes of allocating power between the judicial and legislative branches. In People v. Mack (PDF) decided yesterday, the majority holds that a statute addressing the admissibility of prior acts in cases in which a defendant is accused of certain sexual offenses against a minor, expanding the admissibility of evidence in certain domestic relations matters beyond the scope permitted by court rule, does not infringe on the Court’s authority under Const 1963, art 6, § 5. In dissent, Justice Kelly, joined by Justice Cavanagh and Hathaway, called the statute at issue "a quintessential procedural rule involving the dispatch of judicial business."