DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – The state of Michigan is trying to stop a court order that prevents officials from suspending the driver’s licenses of people who can’t afford traffic fines.
Lawyers representing the secretary of state have filed an emergency request with a federal appeals court. They hope the court will respond by Thursday.
The state says a Dec. 14 injunction by Flint federal Judge Linda Parker is a “deep, unwarranted intrusion” on Michigan’s police powers. The judge said there’s a strong likelihood that the due process rights of poor people are being violated when their licenses are suspended for failure to pay fines.
But the state says drivers have plenty of notice. The state also says there’s no guidance from the judge about how courts are supposed to determine an inability to pay.
A lawsuit filed earlier this year in federal court accused the secretary of state of running a “wealth-based” scheme in which people too poor to pay fines are having their licenses suspended. The lawsuit says a traffic violation can cause a “downward spiral” of lost opportunities for jobs and education.
© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.