Cooley Law School Professors analyze 2022 Michigan Primary Election Results
As Michigan voters cast their ballots in the Primary Election, Cooley Law School professors shared their legal analysis with media about the three state proposals and candidates in highly contested statewide races.
Ret. Brigadier General and former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Homeland Defense Michael McDaniel, a Cooley Law School constitutional law professor, explained to TV 9 & 10 News that while the voter-approved Proposal Three – Reproductive Freedom for All – enshrines in the state constitution abortion rights like those afforded by Roe v. Wade, details would likely be determined by the courts.
In a post-Election Day interview, McDaniel shared insight with FOX 17 about what the passing of Proposal Three means for Michigan: “What happened is, we the people of the state of Michigan directly have said that we believe that a woman, well any individual, has a right to reproductive freedom. We have put that into our constitution. That will now be part of the rights section in the Michigan Constitution, which has to then be followed by every court in the state, up to and including the Michigan Supreme Court.” He also told WWMT that "what the voters in Michigan did yesterday was a strong declaration that there was a right to reproductive freedom. The ballot proposals like this are the voters, the citizenry of the state of Michigan, saying we want this to be in the Michigan constitution. It doesn’t go through the legislation; this is a direct pipeline.”
McDaniel also talked with WZZM and WILX about election security and the systems in place throughout Michigan to ensure secure elections. “Everybody I’ve talked to – at the state level and at the city level – learned from the 2020 election and put systems in place,” he told WZZM. “While you hear about wild stories from other states, certainly I’ve not heard anything from Michigan.
Following Election Day, McDaniel joined FOX 17 for a live recap on the considerable voter turnout for this year’s mid-term election, and WZZM about the historic win for Democrats as took control the House and Senate, which hasn’t happened in 40 years.
Professor Jeff Swartz, a former prosecutor and assistant state attorney, spoke live with WZZM about election security earlier during Election Day, and joined WZZM again shortly after polls closed on Election Night about whether there could be potential legal challenges for the three voter-approved ballot proposals: “The way that votes are conducted these days, it's pretty hard to commit fraud in any kind of really extensive amount. Our elections within the United States are incredibly secure and I think that no matter what party they come from, secretaries and states, secretaries of state and superintendents for individual counties or elected processes, they just want to do their job and they just want to do it right. I've been really impressed over the last eight years or so just how seriously they take their job.”
Associate Dean Tracey Brame, explained to WOOD TV8 the legal battles that are expected after Proposal Three passed: “Part of the criticism of the proposal, of course, has been that it’s extreme, that there are terms in the proposal that expand abortion rights far beyond anything that Roe did, that you won’t need parental consent anymore, that there’ll be partial birth abortion, etc., based on the supposed breadth of the language. There’ll certainly be moves almost immediately to define those terms, try to figure out what they mean, and either expand or retract them, depending on your point of view.”
Associate Dean Tonya Krause-Phelan shared with WZZM 13 and WGVU that the Department of Justice was actively monitoring polling sites in Detroit, Flint, Pontiac and Southfield to make sure the process was going smoothly on Election Day: “All in all from a legal perspective, I was glad to see there was not the need for DOJ intervention at the levels that were initially anticipated.”