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Michigan Supreme Court considers requiring judges to use attorneys' preferred pronouns

12 Michigan Court of Appeals judges have signed a letter opposing this possible ruling.

Published: March 11, 2023 4:38pm

Updated: March 11, 2023 5:25pm

The Michigan Supreme Court is considering a possible rule change that would make it mandatory for judges to call attorneys and litigants by their preferred pronouns. 

In a Jan. 18 notice, the court stated that it would consider Rule 1.109 of the Michigan Court Rules to require courts to comply with attorneys' and parties' desired pronouns in both speech and writing. 

"Parties and attorneys may … include any personal pronouns in the name section of the caption, and courts are required to use those personal pronouns when referring to or identifying the party or attorney, either verbally or in writing," the proposed rule reads.

Michigan religious liberty attorney Timothy Denney told the Daily Wire in an interview that this possible ruling would "violate the compelled speech principle."

"The Michigan Supreme Court's proposed rule to force judges to use attorney's preferred pronouns violates the First Amendment," Denney said in the interview. "The First Amendment prohibits government from compelling public officials to make statements contrary to their beliefs."

Twelve Michigan Court of Appeals judges have signed a letter opposing this possible ruling. 

The Michigan Supreme Court will be hearing comments on the proposed change to Rule 1.109 through the first of May. 

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